Monday, July 18, 2011

Farm Lust

I'm feeling a bit Cranky Crankbutt right now. Yesterday I woke up - after nearly clearing the pink eye in my right eye - with both eyes just raging red. I look like some sort of demon. I'd post a picture, but I do not want to have such hideousness out there forever. This is making me miserable. Let me tell you!

This morning my daughters went to a farm camp. Basically, it's what I would like to do this week instead of my suburban camp-like life. They're going to hang out with goats, sheep, chickens, organic vegetables and a pond full of frogs. And it took me an hour to get there and an hour and a half to get home. I gathered from the conversation I had with the guy running it that I was supposed to get something like directions but I never did. I had to base it on the address on the camp documents (which were the guy's house and not the farm) and my memory from the field trip that brought us to the farm in the first place. It's going to be great, I'm sure, but I was not happy driving to and fro trying to find the place.

At some point while living in very cramped quarters in San Francisco before expanding our square footage in Marin, I became enamored with farm life. I wanted a nice big farm. I'm sure it was a response to our lack of space, but it has burrowed its way into my psyche and I am envious of all things farmer's do - or at least mostly what they do. I try to grow things all the time and have toyed with the idea here and there of having chickens like my neighbor does.

I must admit, however, that sometimes just caring for her chickens while she's away gives me enough of a fix to get me past that desire. Take yesterday, for instance. My other neighbor went next door to see if she could get an egg from their coop. Walking to the coop she saw tons of feathers forming a trail out of the yard then only counted four chickens inside the coop. They had five.

She called my house to see if I was caring for them and if I knew anything so I met her outside to take a look. Sure enough, there was a feather trail and four chickens ready to go out and peck. The coop looked secure and I know that my daughter and I put away five chickens the night before, so it appeared as though some animal was able to get into the coop after all. We scanned the coop for anything obvious and could not find anything. Then we saw the lifeless chicken inside. I went in to get a closer look when we discovered that it was alive! The chicken was brooding, and while I didn't know what that meant when given the instructions a few days ago, took it to mean that the feathered girl wanted to hang out in the coop all day. So she was.

All's well that ends well except my other neighbor never did get an egg. There weren't any. I must say that finding dead chickens is one unappealing aspect of chicken ownership, as is the rats that are attracted to their food. We'll see. The jury is still out, but I do have a fenced yard now.

I am planning on going to a seminar with these two women next week to learn about bee keeping. That might help that my Farmer Lust. That and planting the geraniums that I just bought to replace the previously mangy-woody ones I just tore out. And planting the basil and parsley that I picked up at the same time. I'm going to go chew some twigs now...

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