Our bookclub recently discussed how Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle impacted us – positively to say the least – yards of compost spread, homemade pizza nights initiated, hundreds of lettuce and carrot seeds sown. My copy (with many underlined paragraphs and !!!) is already out on loan. I started to be more aware of my food choices, hunting for products grown in Whatcom County (at the very least Washington state) and I did sow more frost-hardy vegetables in the backyard. I wish I could tell you that I stopped there, but as you’ll see my enthusiasm for the book is growing, literally. Joel and I now have a feathered flock of five! Welcome, ladies.
Forgive the red light district photo – the ladies are basking under a heat lamp. So what possessed this? I think it was the vivid descriptions of the Araucana’s blue and green speckled eggs that hooked me. However, it was cooking with farm-fresh eggs last week that sealed the deal. A half dozen brown eggs from a friend in Ferndale made their way into Monday night breakfast burritos (creative huh?). The yolks were the size and color of Satsuma oranges! For curiosity sake I cracked a grocery store egg into the mix – it was a pale cloudy yellow, almost anemic in comparison. I’ve met many an advocate for backyard chickens who claim they’re a delight. Also, we’ll consider this pre-farm traning to see if I can hack it. McMurray Hatchery’s website helped me learn about the breeds, but they require minimum orders that I’m not quite ready for. The folks at the Whatcom Farmers Co-op on Meridian were very helpful. When I asked how many chickens were allowed in city one employee replied, “heck you can have as many as you can feed!” For the record (and if I ruffle any neighborhood feathers) refer to the City of Bellingham fowl ordinance.
So far cat Julio has presented as the only predator, he’s quite entertained with the 24 hour peep show.
Next on the project list? Building a coop before the flock gets too big for that cardboard box! In 6 weeks, they’ll be ready to venture outdoors.