Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art
It has been raining since Sunday night almost non-stop. Today is Thursday. The earth is way past soggy. Our bottom land is now more like swamp – puddles, ponds, creeks, and springs seemingly everywhere. I am thankful our houses are built on a hill. The water flowing everywhere is beautiful, especially since its not causing us anymore trouble then some wet clothes, muddy boots, and restless animals. Our houses are warm and dry, and so are we when we come back inside.
Went to check on the goaties twice today (they hate the rain and won’t go outside even in a sprinkle). They were starving this morning because they knocked down their hay rack sometime after our last check yesterday, so we took each of the mamas out one at a time and fed them some grain and the new alfalfa pellets we just picked up. They were thankful for that, and for the newly reinstalled and refilled hay rack. Its their rumens that keep them warm, so without a full belly they were getting shivery. We also put some pine trees in with them for munch variety. All I kept thinking was that its a damn good thing we got them moved down to the barn before all this rain. They would not have been ok in their old little white hut with no room for them all to move around – they haven’t even been out of the barn in 3 days. They just meeeah at us from the open door when they hear us coming.
I thought a couple of times today about the way this life forces me to slow down. There is no rushing. There is only time to be spent doing necessary or meaningful life things. The animals need care and tending. The stove needs stoking. Meals need cooking. Bread needs baking. Wood needs to be stacked in one place or another. Gardens need to be planned, created, prepped – eventually planted and tended. Food harvested, stored, or processed. There is no such thing as a bored moment. Never something not to be done. A hard lesson for me to learn is letting things go undone. Focusing on the necessary things, filling in with the less immediately necessary, but still important, and then relaxing with a good book, or some permaculture research. There exists a sense of necessary to most of my actions that I sincerely enjoy.
The only thing I miss is my art, in the traditional sense. Mostly the painting and the mail sending. But instead I’m writing more, and taking pictures, mostly because this journey feels like something quite worthy of documentation. I also choose to spend quite a bit of my free mental energy on permaculture learning: gardens, livestock, poop, seed saving, grain growing, alternative energy – what it really means to be a closed system and just how far we are from that reality.
The rain has made me a little bit crazy though I guess because I ate chicken for dinner last night. Chicken that was bred, incubated, born, raised, harvested and cooked by us. That’s a monumental thing for an 18 year vegetarian, and I didn’t even wig out of the harvesting part, in case you were wondering. And you know what? It felt good. Not in a, “I like the taste of meat, oh how I’ve missed it” kind of way, but more in a this makes sense to me kind of way. I’m excited about it for practicality and full circle reasons. In the same way I’m excited about eating meals consisting entirely of veggies we grew and put up. The satisfaction is immense.
I just finished reading Gene Logsdon’s Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind book and he makes an even better argument for animals then I already had going on in my head. He basically says that their poop is their most valuable resource to us. The meat, the dairy, the eggs, are all, in his opinion, nice by products. But without the poop for nutrient replenishment we’d be solely dependent on non-local, unsustainable mined resources for fertilizers to feed our soil and grow our veggies. I don’t want to bore you with the details here, suffice to say, its a very interesting read.