Yes, yes, I know. It’s been a while. I’m still here though. Still running. Still riding. Still drinking green juice. Still eating salads as big as my head. Still living in the city. Still blogging. Oh no, wait, not quite. Blogging again? Hmmm, maybe. I don’t know for sure just yet.
What I do know though is that today I’m feeling motivated to write a little something about the newest thing I’m currently psyched about:
Raising our own backyard chickens.
My mother-in-law started raising chickens last year. It seems as though every single one of our crunchy granola homeschooling friends is talking about their spring chicks. The June/July issue of Organic Gardening magazine says “keeping a flock of hens has gone from being homey to being oh-so-stylishly vogue”. For the last few months I’ve been seriously contemplating this cool, fun, educational, hippy, local foodie feat and this weekend I got serious about jumping on the backyard poultry bandwagon.
First things first, we have to fashion a chicken coop.
The criteria? It’s got be big enough to hold three chickens. (As I currently understand it, three is the limit in the city.) From what I’ve read, you need 2 – 3 square feet of floor space per chicken, and that means I’m looking to construct a little something that’s about 6 to 9 square feet big. I’d prefer to build said coop on the cheap and therefore we will be using as much scrap material from around the house and around town as possible. Hello 4 x 4 wooden pallets – thank you for making the construction of my future hen house that much easier!
Second things next, apparently we need a license to keep chickens in the city, thus, I’ll be schlepping me, my checkbook and two small children to city hall some day this week. Get ready.
Last but not least, our new chickens are currently hanging with the flock at Zak’s mom’s house until their city digs are ready.
Observe: the small plot of land behind our garage where our coop and chicken run is currently set to be located.
One of the oh-so-many reasons I’m intrigued by the idea of raising our own chickens would be my desire to show my children where our food comes from. Eggs don’t just magically appear in cartons in the refrigerator case at Wegmans ya know. Although I do always buy free range, organic eggs – I’d like to do it one step better. My efforts in healthy eating has more recently evolved into paying serious attention to living sustainably and eating locally – and it just doesn’t get more local than your own backyard.
Aaaaand what a perfect segue to the vegetable garden I’ve been working on in our small city yard! A few weeks ago I got a (late) start on sprouting my own seeds – something I’ve never done before. Until this year I’ve always been a pay-too-much-for-vegetable-plants-in-the-late-spring kind of gal.
This year I started (too many) cherry tomatoes, (lots ‘o) cucumbers, peas (which I now know could have gone straight into the ground) along with a myriad of flowers like sun flowers, four o’clocks, impatiens and morning glories.
We started spinach about a month and a half ago and put in a pea bed just last week.
And I’ve got two pumpkins going from seeds that were recently transplanted to a small bed smack dab in the middle of the yard due to limited amounts of direct sun.
So in case you couldn’t tell, we’ve been busy outside getting the garden underway at the new house. The girls have enjoyed being involved and observing the start of the life cycle as plants being to grow and the trees and flowers come alive before our very eyes.
What have I been eating these last few months you surely ask? Well, I have to say that not a lot has changed during my blogging hiatus. There’s been lots of juice, salads, vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, some spouted grains and the occasional bowl of overnight oats or breakfast cookie. Oh yeah, there’s been some Green & Black 70% Dark chocolate and plenty of Sabra hummus and bulk almond butter that has made its way in and out of my fridge too. We’ve been eating less dairy and less grains too, and eating more vegetables if that’s even possible. If anything, it’s been a hell of a lot more boring in recent months given my lack of food photography or writing about meals and snacks since no one is watching!
So stay tuned as I attempt to build a chicken coop, raise some backyard chickens, come up with recipes to use up the vegetables from our CSA this year and otherwise make an attempt to return to the blogosphere to write about food and running and motherhood and all things healthy living. Here goes nothing.