Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Farm Girl

One of the reasons I wanted to farm was to reconnect myself and my children to our food. To instill in them a sense of responsibility to what they eat and to understand that as meat-eaters there is a huge sacrifice connected to dinner that is more than just filling their tummies.

Farming takes work. Lots of work. Sometimes doing things you don't want to do just to ensure that the animals that will sustain you later live a life filled with a freedom and health they'd otherwise be denied. Explaining that to kids is hard. Especially young kids. With the addition of the fourteen new chicks the understanding that not all of these cute, fluffy balls of chirp will stay on our farm long is a harsh reality. The connection to a chick in a cardboard box and a breaded chicken nugget can be a confusing and treterous path.

But as with gardening for sustinance, caring for animals is something we are learning. We have plans to grow beef calves for slaughter, raise turkeys from poults for holiday dinners and release our dependency on store bought chicken and eggs. And we have decided that -as we grow and learn this farm life- if we can't do the things we have done in conventional grocery store society with respect and care that we just won't do it.

I hope the children grow up understanding the sacrifice and the fact we might become vegetarians.


  1. I think if I had to raise the animals I ate, I would definitely be vegan. Making that connection is very hard. :-( Good luck, brave mama!

  2. Jeff has told me that I can't name the chickens when we get them. He says "Chicken One, Chicken Two......" But......aren't those names???? I may become a vegetarian, too!!!! But I like the idea that what I eat led a happy life leading up to slaughter.

  3. Dayle- we're still trying to figure out if naming them is something we'll do or not. Since we're hoping to sell some free-range chicken to friends and family the kids might get upset when slaughter day comes. I suppose we'll just wait and see.

    Sarah- I don't think I could ever be a vegan just because it feels too natural to consume eggs and milk. These are products that the animals will make and not eating unfertlized eggs seems wasteful, they'll make eggs regardless of my consumption. As far as milk, if the mother isn't being stressed or injected with artifical milk making hormones and you're both content sharing, again it seems more a symbiotic relationship that's mutually beneficial.

  4. This is why I wouldn't be anything other than a vegetarian. I like being a city girl :)

  5. When we butchered our first chicken we thought the kids would be upset..but in the end they really thought the whole ordeal was very interesting and didn't mind. I say keep moving forward and all will work out when the time comes to "do the job".My neighbor raised two pigs last year and named them pork chop and sausage...LOL.