Monday, July 21, 2014

Chickens, Mulch Nirvana and Good Neighbors

There is an old song "When life hands you lemons, start making lemonade" that is pertinent to what has been happening here for us on the homestead.  There are perks and pains with all things in life and lately...we've had more pains than perks.

It all started with having to get rid of my chickens. They were roaming off our property and bothering our neighbors. We penned them up and they still found ways to go rearrange our neighbors perfectly manicured and mulched yard.

Anyone who has chickens KNOWS that a mulch pile is the perfect "chick magnet" for them. What we see as a mulch pile, they see as "chicken nirvana" and will travel miles to pay homage to it. After a number of trips to keep the chickens out of the neighbors yard, I called up a couple farming friends and found homes for them. It worked out well, as I can still get eggs from some of my girls. They are on farmsteads where they can free range and go "bugging" to their hearts content.

I miss my chickens but, I don't miss the anxiety of them wreaking havoc with our neighbors. Growing up farming I completely understand the concept of "good fences make good neighbors." When you have animals, it is your job to keep them fenced in. Even with living in the boonies, you can have neighbors who prefer a golf course yard and perfectly manicured flower beds.

I like my neighbors and cherish our relationship with them. I also understand that we are the "newcomers" and therefore need to conform to the area we moved into. This credo is something I understand as I grew up just outside of an Old Order Mennonite community.

When you move into a community, you need to conform to the standards set, not try and change the standards. I witnessed this many times as an adult living in the suburbs. It seem "Burbs people" don't like farm smells, following along behind tractors, seeing animals have farm sex, etc. it baffled me that these people love the "idyllic country side but don't want to deal with the life style that makes it so idyllic to start with.

Oh well, if you can't take the farm smells you need to go back to the city. I'd much prefer following a tractor than bumper to bumper traffic and smelling manure instead of exhaust fumes. Most of us have a choice where we live and "to each their own" as the saying goes.  I also have my "own" and I choose the COUNTRY!