I aspire to be self-sufficient. As I learn and experiment, I'm trying to use as few inputs as possible. Waste not, want not.
When we started house-hunting back in 2008, we had these requirements:
As much land as we could afford, as close to the city as possible
A house in at least livable condition, willing to consider a fixer-upper
When we found our house, my first stop was to check the municipal code of the Town of Gilbert. This is a must if one desires to keep any sort of poultry or livestock. Ralph and I wanted to do/grow/raise whatever we wanted on our little piece of the Earth.
Keeping poultry and livestock has its advantages. The obvious reason: to have your own source of eggs, meat, and dairy from animals raised, fed, and treated just the way you'd prefer. The other reason is for their manure. God's creation is pretty incredible; everything about animals serves a purpose, including poo. If one's aim is to garden organically, with as few inputs as possible, then using manure from your animals to add to your compost pile is a must.
With a house full of the bustling activity that comes from children and animals, one must appreciate the quiet moments. It's a warm afternoon; 106 degrees outside, 86 degrees inside. I hear Luke in the other room putting Legos together, little Ralph is napping, and Grace is playing with her American Girl dolls. The dogs are napping, the chickens and turkeys are resting in the shade, our brand new Nubian doelings are contentedly chewing their cud. I've been busy this afternoon preparing tonight's dinner: chicken pot pie. A dish like this just isn't the same unless made with a stewing hen. Indeed, this is a perk of having your own chickens. Normally I would seize the opportunity to wash up the dishes currently waiting for me in the sink. However, I decided to take a moment to type out my very first post here. For far away loved ones, local friends, and those I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting; these will be snapshots of my daily life.