The other day, in the midst of talking to my mother about the chickens I’ve decided to raise, my mother asked me WHY. Why raise chickens? For a moment, I was caught off guard. Doesn’t everyone want to raise chickens once they learn about them a bit? They’re so funny and full of personality. They’re nurturers of health and soul.
But in my mother’s defense, most people don’t sit and read every chicken book they can find. Most people don’t know how endearing chickens can actually be. And to most people, it seems like a lot of work to plan out a coop, learn about the feed, learn how to protect them, and determine which chickens to raise. This work is all BEFORE you even get your hands on an actual chicken.
I've long been interested in going off the grid. The idea of living on a ranch untouched by modern amenities appeals to me, it brings me a certain peace. I love the idea of living like its 100 years ago (though I will keep my indoor plumbing, thank you very much), and the idea of living without an electric bill and without an oil delivery. Self-sustainability, with all of its hard work and rewards, draws me in year after year. It’s been one of the few constants in my busy mind. I may start things that I never finish (often) but some themes remain: self-sustainability, love, kindness and creativity.
I’ve had the complicated life of executive jobs and fancy clothes. I’ve had the overly expensive house and the nice restaurants out in the city. I wouldn’t trade one second of that past life, but I’m over it. I want to raise and grow my food and to find beauty in simple, not manufactured, things. I want my feet in a pair of cowboy boots or Wellies, not stiletto heels.
On top of all of that, I want to embrace my roots. Many of you know how seriously I take the legacy of women in my family, and this is one more way that I can feel close to that. I want to go back to the start. Back to hands in the dirt and chickens in the coop. Back to making butter and milking cows. I want to go back to the days when women didn’t stuff themselves full of plastic everywhere, fake hair, fake nails and fake personalities to land a guy, but instead proved themselves hard-working parts of a team, and a witty and sensual companion at the same time. Back to basics.
Homesteading by way of growing my own food, canning, baking from scratch, and now my future chickens are the best way that I know of to knit together the past and the future. Weaving a new chapter of my life, while adding to the legacy of the women in my family and teaching my kids the self-sustainable way. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.
Side note: I've been canning, growing, making home remedies for years and I STILL love this new book. If you'd like to learn some homesteading basics, in your own time, this is a great resource!