I forgot to tell you something.
Our "Have-More" Plan Book arrived some time ago. It's terrific and I recommend it to anyone even a tad interested in buying some land and 'going natural' or getting off the grid (and all that). I've also been rereading Sylvia's Farm, a book about her adventures as a lone sheep farmer and I've just begun reading Peace At Heart, a book very similar (so far) to Sylvia's Farm, except that the author has a husband for a partner.
These books tell of birthing sheep--and how sometimes you, uh, (gross alert) must reach up inside the laboring ewe to help her deliver her lamb, lest you lose both mother and baby. And on Sylvia's farm, some of her adorable young lambs (always, she gives each a name) die in freak accidents... or they freeze to death... or catch fatal diseases. In The Have More Plan book, there are pictures about how best to kill chickens (and other animals). In Peace At Heart, she tells the story of a weakened chicken which was nearly pecked to death by its peers (chickens do that, she says).
So here's what I've forgotten to tell you. I've decided to become a vegetable farmer. A flower farmer. A fruit tree farmer. A No Animals Allowed on This Farm farmer.
Oh dear. I would die if I had to help birth a lamb. Or faint, anyway. And most likely, I'd get so attached to my chickens that, should I find a dead one in the chicken yard, I'd be broken-hearted. And kill one of them to eat? Are you kidding?
Sigh. I know, I know. But I do realize my limitations. Hey, from 2002 - 2004 I raised pet mice, 10 of them, down in our basement. And when they started dying one by one, I sobbed. I stood above them, watched them breathe final breaths, stroked their backs, spoke to them and cried hot tears.
And I'm still not over that.
So it's flowers and fruit trees and vegetables for this farmgirl. A gal must know herself and her limitations and her callings--only then can she walk in peace. For there is no peace doing what others are called to do, but you are not. (And right there is a major reason why zillions of people are unhappy--they're on someone else's custom-made-calling road, not their own.)
Though, okay... I reserve the right to change my mind about the chickens. Maybe I could handle a few of those. Maybe.
To thine ownself be true....... even if your friends and neighbors don't get what you're trying to do.