Last summer we moved out of the city to a smaller, farmish (that is a word, right?) sort of town. Our goal was to find a place where our kids could have room to run and to dig in the dirt.... to have space to plant a vegetable garden and raise chickens. We realized we were unwittingly raising city kids who were afraid to get dirty or leave the well-worn path. My husband Joel and I both grew up near a very small town in Oregon. We both lived in forested areas with no other houses visible from our own. When I wasn't reading, I spent my time building forts out of hay bales, building dams in the creek, running through the forest, playing with the pigs... It was a good way to grow up!
So here we are on our mini-farm: our 1/2 acre Petracci Plantation. We planted our first small vegetable garden last fall. We are still enjoying the fruits (um, vegetables) of our labor. During the fall and winter (we live in Southern California) we were able to eat lots of beets, carrots, lettuce, peas, cilantro, and parsley from our own garden. We have now made our garden about 3 times larger and are digging, hoeing, and adding compost to try and prepare the soil for our spring planting. Maybe some day we will be blessed by the use of a rototiller?! I'm dreaming of tomatoes, beans, peas, corn, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, cucumbers, sunflowers, herbs, and more! I need to scale back my plans to match the actual area we've managed to prepare! Turning desert soil into a fertile garden plot is hard work.
Two weekends ago, we chose 4 chicks! They are very cute and are growing quickly. They should start laying eggs in about 4 or 5 months. Now we just need to build their chicken coop before they outgrow their tiny home in a container in our garage.
Shauna, the novice farmer in training. I keep wondering how I managed to grow up on the edge of a farm, with 2 sets of gardening and farming grandparents, and have absolutely no experience with gardening or raising chickens. I am determined to learn how to grow and raise food for my own family and to help my kids learn these valuable skills.