If you told me 5 years ago I would be raising my own chickens for eggs and meat, and planning my organic garden I would would have looked at you with a very funny face and said something along the lines of “I kill all plants.” Now I may still kill all plants. It’s a definite possibility. I go into this with a fair bit of research and as someone who is relatively intelligent, I do have hope that I can be successful.
I still haven’t answered why I’ve decided to do that. The why is political and health related in nature. I’m actually a pretty political person and anyone who knows me well in person is aware of that, but I hang with people of all persuasions so keep my public profile pretty even keel. I have a few things that are really near and dear to my heart and eating clean with no GMO foods is one of them. And that my dears is how we got here. As more and more research is done, as the repercussions from the Colony Collapse Disorder becomes more real, and as food related illnesses and obesity sky rocket, I think how our food is raised must be looked at closer. Messing with genetics, making our corn resistant to RoundUp, I just can’t help but feel it’s wrong at a gut level.
Alas, I’m a failure at being GMO free so far, I just cannot afford to feed my chickens organic. They would be $40 chickens by the time they were ready to be processed and while the majority of this is about being healthy, I cannot in all seriousness afford a $40 chicken. Part of the problem is in rural Georgia, there is not a big push for Organic things. This is a huge adjustment from living in Washington, DC, where there is a Wegmans (best grocery store ever), Whole Foods or Trader Joes on every corner. In order to get organic chicken food, I’d have to order it, not only is a 50lb bag twice as much (about $36) but I have to pay to ship 50lb bags of food. I just can’t do it. So I already feel like a bit of a failure.
This also means I won’t have a true organic garden. I am not wasting my chicken and horse (horse food is also not organic, I don’t even think you can get that) poop compost just because it isn’t organic. That just seems silly.
If I’m not going completely organic what is the point? That is a very valid question. I’m doing it anyway for the following reasons:
1) It’s fun. Watching chickens run around is like a natural Xanax. Really. They are funny, and interesting and each have their own way of doing things. I just plain old like them.
2) I don’t think the value of knowing where your food is from, raising it, killing or harvesting it yourself, is valued enough in this culture. It’s considered for hicks, though that is changing. I want my kids to understand that the food on their plate comes at a price. That price is blood and sweat, either a plant or an animal died so they might eat, it’s just an important thing to remember, and one that is all too easy to forget as we buy cans and boxes off a shelf.
3) I’m doing my part. I can’t be perfect, I can’t do it exactly how I would like but I can do what I can. I can raise animals who are happy until their end time comes. I can garden without the overuse of chemicals, using natural methods as much as possible and reuse the waste of my animals to help feed the plants. I mean what a perfect circle that is!
Somebody asked me if I started all this to get a reality TV series. I have far too many skeletons in my closet to ever want anyone digging around. I honestly started all this, writing about it, doing it everything, because I want to document it for myself and my children. I guess it’s a bit narcissistic to post it on the interwebs, I could just write a diary right? True, it is, I guess I think my life is interesting enough that others may want to follow along.
I didn’t have a good computer when all the chicks showed up, I never got to document how it was suddenly becoming the mother of 39 chicks. Expect that story soon!