QUALITY OF LIFE

We will never be great urban farmers and we can live with that fact.

Oh, we aren’t bad growing food because, well, we don’t struggle with moral decisions with plants like we do with animals.  Bottom line: we are too caring to ever really be an economic force to be reckoned with.

Here’s the thing:  we believe that all of our animals and birds should live good lives.  We do not believe animals should be raised in small cages.  Period!town_832

Examples?

We have three aviaries for our quail.  Only two are currently being used for quail; one has rabbits and two silkie chickens, but that’s another story.  Anyway, in the two aviaries for the quail there are currently 75 quail residing….maybe 80….they are hard to count, always on the move, that sort of thing.

I was reading about a commercial quail farmer who had 500 quail in the same-sized space that our 80 live in, basically 12’x14’.

500!!!!!!!!!!!

What that means is the quail  barely have room to do anything other than eat, drink and mate.

We won’t do that to our quail, so that means less production, fewer eggs, etc., which means less profit which means we will never be great urban farmers.

And we can live with that.

SOMEONE ELSE’S BLOG

I was reading another urban farming blog by someone named Nysia….anyway, she was recounting her horror stories about putting rabbits and chickens in the same enclosure and how the rabbits basically dug a tunnel to China to get out.  I’m kidding but you get the point.  Rabbits are prolific tunnel-builders. We have found this to be true with our rabbits.  The solution is simple: put the rabbits in cages and monitor their breeding. They live out their lives in a 2’x3’ cage and make little bunnies.

We won’t do that!  Nysia chose not to as well.town_429

Quality of life!

BOTTOM LINE

Urban farming means more to us than just sustainability and making a little income.  Urban farming, for Bev and I, is about getting back in touch with the land and all its inhabitants.  It’s about rediscovering that which we, as a society, have lost, a connection to all life.  All of us have been put in charge of this planet, and Bev and I take that responsibility seriously.

I’m done with my sermon.  I’ll get off the soapbox now.

NEIGHBORHOOD VISITOR

A little girl who lives across the street comes over to our place occasionally.  Bev takes her by the hand and walks her through the aviaries, and if there are chicks she lets the little girl hold them.   The smile on that child’s face is priceless.  Kids and animals, man, there is nothing like it.

UPDATE ON HAY BALE GARDEN

town_884

I promised you all an update on our hay bale experiment and as you can see from the pictures, the experiment is doing quite nicely, thank you very much.  I’m not surprised by how well the plants inside the bales are doing because we filled that interior section with great compost and rabbit poop.  The potatoes are growing so fast it is almost unbelievable.town_882

But we were very curious how the seedlings would do when planted ON the hay bales and the answer is, they are doing quite nicely.  We even transplanted some strawberries, late in the season, onto the hay bales, and after a couple days of shock they rebounded and are doing very well.  So, so far, the experiment is a huge success.

GREENHOUSE PROJECT

We fully intended to have our greenhouse up and running but alas, it was not meant to be.  It is now our number one project for next spring.  We have the area for it, and we have the frame for it. What we didn’t have was the time for it.

And so it goes!

NEXT PROJECT

Our two new ducks (running ducks, by the way) almost have all their feathers, which means they will soon be in need of a pond.  Now I can certainly take the easy way out and buy a little kiddies’ pool….reasonably cheap and oh so easy to install….or…I can dig out a place for a pond, put in a liner and have a real pond.

Guess which way I’m leaning?

See you later. I’ve got some digging to do.

Bill

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6 thoughts on “Providing Quality of Life on an Urban Farm

  1. You’re truly the urban farmer! And it all sounds fun! I think I would like to pursue this more in a few years: not because I’m “putting it off” but we like to go camping and to the beach and we’re looking to travel abroad…not totally conducive to having an urban farm. But in the meantime, I love your updates and stories!

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  2. Lil Sis, I’ll let you live vicariously through our efforts and it won’t cost you a thing. How’s that for a deal? Thanks for spending part of your Sunday with me. Hugs coming your way.

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