Friday, January 09, 2009

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.


Anonymous said...

I'm so with you dear!
I could never!
And you're so right.
One must know their limits.
I think fruits and vegetables are a SPLENDID idea!

Donetta said...

Sounds like a wonderful self inspection and delight in the beauty that you are.

nancyr said...

I live near a small city of over 100,000 people. People just fought for and won the right to raise chickens in their back yards, in the city. The rules are, no roosters! No killing the chickens for food, just egg production. It is surprising how many people are getting into the backyard chicken "controversy".

Death is part of life, so loosing farm animals, or pets is just a part of the life cycle. You get more enjoyment and love if you take the risk, than if you don't, but I, too, am a "softie".

Ann said...

I don't think I could handle the animals either. I've always wanted a horse but I think I'm getting to the point where I wouldn't enjoy it if I had one. Happy Weekend.

Kay @ The Rustic Cottage said...

I'm with you on most of the animals except chickens - gotta have fresh egge - and maybe some bunnies. But I'd definitely be a vegetable farmgirl!

... Paige said...

Chickens for the eggs, yes, but not for ringing.
I belive in the... My drummer is my own and you don't have to march to it, only I do.

Joy and Phil said...

I lived on 20 acres in my younger days. I worked full time and my live-in housekeeper/baby sitter was a 4-H member. She raised EVERYTHING: rabbits, chickens, Guinea fowl and a even a young beef. She brought the eggs into the house and fed them to the kids but I could not even eat those let alone the meat from the rabbits, etc. I learned that as much as I loved the farm life, I still had to buy my meat and eggs at the grocery store.

Anonymous said...

If you like those books your love the book Never Kiss a Goat on the Lips by Vic Sussman. Written in 81 and put out by Rodale Press. Tells of his new life homesteading with his family...very funny and informative and includes recipes etc. Of course information on goats is included. You'll love it! Sussman has written articles at least in the past, published in Mother Earth News. Jody