May 13, 2011

keeping chickens May routine

This adventure in living and raising our own food is insanely satisfying and whimsical. I love the routines it requires, and finding my own steady rhythm especially during the summer when the waitress job is closed for the off- season. The hard part isn't the laboring, organizing, dirt, and sweat of the farm chores or the long mind numbing hours of wage slaving and commuting, but the living between drastically different worlds. It's hard on the mind.

Watering and careful observation of the garden at first light while the nighttime coolness is still left in the air is one of the best parts of the May routine. It isn't always pleasant, but it is gentle and predictable work to wake up to and gain my bearings.  Sometimes this means being followed around the yard by a cloud of gnats.  Next is letting the big girls out of the coop. If I'm not up early enough for their liking their squawking has me out the back door in a hurry, calling out apologies. I've heard Rhode Island Reds can be pushy. Then its time for dog omelets and a beach walk with the dogs. Mid- day is reserved for being still, finding shade, and stealing air conditioning. We all have our vices, this time of year I tend to drink coffee out just for that reason.

One of my favorite aspects of the evening routine involves the dumpster at Barbour's Produce at the end of the block.  I absolutely love rummaging through the dumpster to find perfectly good delights and riding home with overflowing buckets on my handle bars.  The brood loves berries, tomatoes, apples, peaches, squash, greens, grapes, herbs, and melons.

Working on an infinite project certainly has a way of quieting the mind and getting me through the winter. I read somewhere that the winter season for farmers is that of hardship and suffering, I agree for different reasons. 

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