Our journey into sustainable living grew over several years with a few key marker events. One year at the county fair while going through the animal barns, we happened to arrive just as a sow was giving birth to a litter of pigs. We stood in amazement for several hours, as these tiny creatures to whom I had never given a moment’s thought, entered the world. At the same time, I was immensely impressed with the poised young man who had raised the sow and would raise these young piglets. A seed of desire was planted in me to raise our own children to be in touch with living creatures as stewards of the earth.
Growing our own food
I quickly got over that insanity and continued on in my suburban life with cats and fish as the only animals near my home. One day, I came across an article from the Oregon Extension Service that said with 2 acres of land a family of four could grow all the food they need. I was intrigued. There is nothing like the taste of vegetables grown out of a home garden. Could we really grow our own food? In our suburban backyard, we began growing tomatoes and cucumbers in earnest and making our own canned pickles, peaches and jams.
Chickens did us in
Another article caught my eye. This time about chickens, specifically raising your own eggs and the nutritional benefits of them. I had to have chickens. Unfortunately, they were forbidden by the covenants in our neighborhood. I began searching the internet for land in the country to have chickens, but gave it up as a dream that would never come true.
Our dream home
One night for a date night, I convinced my husband to go out with a realtor to look at houses. Just to look. We found our dream home. And it came with chickens.
There are many days when it feels like the work will never end. That it would be so much easier to go back to living in the city, blissfully eating what the grocery store has to offer. But I would miss it horribly. I am forever spoiled from buying bland factory farmed eggs, mushy chicken and fatty beef. I will probably be the old lady in the nursing home with a secret stash of laying hens out behind the park bench.
Come join us
If you are one of our neighbors, come join us. We understand that not everyone can raise their own chickens, sheep and pigs. We love to share our adventures with our neighbors. If you are a virtual neighbor, we encourage you to grow whatever you can or at least seek out neighbors at your local farmers market and eat as locally as you can.