I thought I'd never do it...but I did. I agreed to let the kids raise some chicks. I figured, if we're going to spend money to feed and care for a pet, at least we can get something out of it, right? Some fresh eggs would be great! And I have to admit, they're pretty darn cute right now.
We've had them for two weeks, so they still live inside under a heat lamp while they are feathering out. The kids have been helping me retro fit an old plastic play house into a chicken coop so we'll be ready for them when they move outdoors. The neighborhood kids keep streaming in to see our baby chicks. And we've already had several neighbors offer to pay us for fresh eggs, which I had not expected. I'm not sure what our egg production will be like, but even if we only get enough to feed our own family and then some to sell so we can pay for their feed, I'll be super happy.
So, I admit that the kids weren't the only ones who wanted these little fuzz balls. After all the reading I've been doing, and the class I'm taking online at the TJed Academy and Prep school, I'm very very motivated to increase our self reliance. Especially given the current state of global economic affairs.
Greece is down and out, and our country is close behind. And you know what they say, the bigger they are the harder they fall. I fear it will be especially true in the case of our great land, unfortunately. Maybe not. But in any case, I want to be prepared for ANY thing that comes my way.
And it's been great fun, really. The kids have been eagerly watching me and anxious to help as learn to be more self reliant. Here's what I've been up to in that area:
Beefing up our food and water storage. I'm currently shooting for three months and will expand from there.
Expanding/planting this year's garden (pumpkins, peas, corn, tomatoes, beets, onion, carrots, green beans, radishes, pickling cukes, zukies, and broccoli)
Learning to compost
Making my own toothpaste, laundry detergent, hand soap, and home cleaners
Baking more bread (I took a class on making sour dough bread too!)
Planting more edibles around the yard (I've added 3 huckleberries, 1 raspberry and 2 blueberries to the yard so far this year).
I bought myself a pressure canner for my birthday (AGH, I'm almost 34) and scavenging canning bottles where ever I can.
There's more, but I'll stop boring you there.
I feel this urge to get as much done before baby 4 comes. It's a girl by the way. And if I have my way, her name will be Ruby.
I gotta tell you, it feels REALLY good to be able to DO something about the situation by taking control of my family's own food security rather than just fret and hope for the best. For me, action has led to hope and optimism. I guess it just goes to show you that if you are prepared, you shall not fear.
I've got a long way to go and TONS to learn, but I'm so enjoying this journey and SO SO glad that my kids can take this journey with me. I wish I had grown up learning this stuff easily and comfortably via normal daily living instead of taking a crash course in it. But it's never too late, or too early to learn self sufficiency.
Oh, and by the way, if you notice to the right here, I've been reading lots of Sharon AStyk's book on this very topic. She has been inspirational to me. HOWEVER....I must submit a personal disclaimer here. I do not totally endorse her premises for pursing self reliance. She's all about climate change and peak oil. I am not. But the great thing is, that regardless of our differing values and motivation, we come to the same wonderful conclusion: That our country MUST increase its self reliance and we must start with individual households and communities to do so.