This is less a post about what we are doing than what I personally am feeling at the moment. I'm very very frustrated with waiting, researching, and preparing. I want to be Doing. To an extent I am doing things, a lot of things. I am working on stacking wood, clearing land for winter, digging ditches, finishing the interior of the studio so it can be used. I'm focusing on what I eat, and from where. But what I'm not doing is getting actively started on raising my own meat, or even building their enclosures yet. Now there are good reasons for that which I'll go into below the cut.
Why Taking So Long?
There's a lot of reasons we are taking so long. The basic list is,
* Time of year
* Sufficient Research
* Prep Work
This one is sort of a no duh. We don't have the money on hand to do the hutches correctly, or the fencing for the chicken coop. Ideally we want to have the money to build our own chicken coop instead of convert the shed that already is sitting there. Even if it were spring right now, and this was the perfect time to get chicks, it wouldn't be the Right time to do it because we couldn't even begin to approach doing it correctly.
Time of Year:
Another no duh situation. It's fall going into winter. You don't start a laying flock of chickens right now. Especially when it is predicted to be a bastard of a winter. Right now would be a good time to get the breeder rabbits for next spring, but that is predicated on being able to produce an adequate shelter for them, and on having them available to us. If pressed, we could have a good shelter up for 4 rabbits easily and quickly, but it wouldn't be entirely perfect. While there are times to rush things and make it good enough, now isn't the time given the health of the animals as a primary concern.
I'm sure if you've been reading the blog you know that this is a big thing for us. We want to make sure that we've properly checked out what we are doing. Reading through multiple points of view, and talking to multiple people doesn't happen over night. Especially if you are also holding down a job and working on other projects. At this point I think we've done quite sufficient research, but our research phase blew well past the time we could have started this year.
It's amazing how hard site selection is, especially given having to pay attention to local ground water pollution so heavily because of living on a hill, and having our well right near the house. Even beyond site selection which I am doing the research to nail down instead of acting on instinct and impulse, once it is chosen I'm going to have a lot of ground work to do. While I could try to rush it, rushing sounds like a great way to get hurt or do something poorly.
We just bought our first house, we are learning to live with a dog that is high energy, we have the studio under construction, jobs are being difficult, emergencies are happening, delays are constant. In reality even if we had gotten up and running with rabbits and chickens this spring when we moved in, we would be completely overwhelmed because of everything else that is going on with learning to be home owners, never mind homesteaders.
So . . .
For now, we wait, prepare, and research. In addition to doing that, just because we aren't yet raising our own animals so we can eat ethically. We are trying to eat as ethically as we can without raising our own food. Fortunately we are in an area where eating locally, and ethically is much easier. Due to the necessarily smaller operations necessitated by the rolling hills, broken terrain, and fiercely independent locals there's lots of small farms. Small farms by their nature tend to be better to their animals and crops because they want to be able to make it on their own. We should probably do a post on food politics, and finding your local ethical food. That would be a better one for the lady of the house to do.
While we may not be where we want to be, we're living more ethically already without raising our own crops, and we are learning.