Sunday, January 26, 2014

Redefining "The Urbane Farmer"

The name of this blog is "The Urbane Farmer." When I started and named it, my idea behind the name was "I'm a farmer, living in the city." And I liked the definition of urbane: (of a person, esp. a man) suave, courteous, and refined in manner.

Several years into writing this blog, I see the title a little differently -- not so much defining who I am but rather what I am doing. To me, including the word "farmer" implies that there there's more to the story than a collection of raised beds and a small orchard on a city lot. There are certainly farmers who raise nothing but a gazillion acres of wheat in Nebraska, but the farm I grew up on and defined who I am included animals. Do you see where this is going?

Chicken sitting
Next month, Chris, Goeff and Tilly who live down the block are returning to their native Australia for a month to visit family. Chris knew about my more than passing interest in chickens, and asked if I'd like to babysit her three girls while they are out of the country. 

Jay and I have been thinking about getting chickens for some time, so I thought this would be a great chance to see if this chicken thing really is for us. I figure that in the span of a month (February through March no less) we'll get a good sense of what it's like to care for three creatures that don't look like a cat or a dog.

So, I accepted Chris' offer to care for their chickens, and this weekend I went to meet them and plan the mid-February handoff. There will be much to learn and write about this spring... stay tuned.

Chris is going to figure out how to get the chicken coop and enclosure to our yard. It's currently frozen/welded to the ground!

As soon as we arrived the chickens came out of the coop to greet us. They are friendly and I'm looking forward to caring for them.

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