A Sunday Link Stroll

Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study.  Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.  ~Henry L. Doherty

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On this rainy sunday afternoon, as I plant my peas in wet soil and my hair is drenched by the rain, I’m dreaming of being on this beach again. Here are some links you may enjoy learning from:

Thomas Edison predicting the future.

I’m super excited to grow Zingiber officinale in pots this year.

Where Tiny Homes get official support.

Ingredients for natural body care.

Farm dogs

Victory gardens

-M.

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“Those people died from eating, not starving. That’s progress.”

Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study.  Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.  ~Henry L. Doherty

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A visit to Lavender Wind farm, Whidbey Island, WA

And here lies my list of useful links for the week. These are links to what I’m currently reading that you might find educational or otherwise important for improving your quality of life (read: free entertainment).

You could wander aimlessly through the internet on a sunday afternoon, or you could try a few of these tidbits on for size.

GROWING

List of seeds you can start right now from the Urban Farmer.

Thinking about creating some raised beds to get your spring garden going? Check out a succinct list of pros and cons of raised beds vs. in-ground growing here.

For those interested in raising livestock for consumption, and because you know I love my chickens, here are some tips on raising chickens in the city and some thoughts on raising rabbits the right way.

EATING

Roll up your sleeves and practice eating local foods that are in season. Check out these delicious recipes from a Seattle chef-turned-blogger. The Beet Carpaccio with Goat Cheese and Walnuts looks divine, now I just need to convince someone to cook it for me…

WORKING

Why your spare time is worth way more than $25 per hour.  Many arguments which could be summarized with the thought “Buying Shit Doesn’t Make You Happier,” also known as defining basic needs.

And in the ever-enticing Early Retirement through Financial Independence category, Retire even Earlier Without Earning More or Spending Less, which may stir up a few ideas for your own fiscal planning, or just be obnoxious chatter from a guy who’s about to retire young. Never know till you read it.

ENTERTAINMENT

Wonder how you’ll feel about exploding cows in the food chain? My favorite part of this is that what is supposed to be a hilarious satire already has the corporate mega-farming industry up in arms to defend itself. Nobody pointed the finger at you, but if you want to point it at yourself….

-M.

What My Chickens Are Teaching Me about Life today

ImageFar left: Fiona. She’s the one with enough curiosity to kill a dozen cats and enough gumption to get herself an invite to prom with the quarterback and turn him down all with one wiggle of her tail feathers.

Center: Ginger. She’s the baby of the brood, content to be shoved around about by the other gals an a little whiney when she doesn’t get attention from us human folk. 

Far Right: Mildred. She is quite the feisty one, and canbe a bit of a bully in order to prove herself the biggest and strongest.

These hens have taught me a whole lot about myself that I never really wanted to know in the first place, but am grateful I learned.

For one thing, I’m impatient. I want to them to lay me some eggs right now, not on their own timeline but on mine. Apparently Mother Nature doesn’t quite work that way, or at least that’s what Ginger’s squawking told me when I took a close-up look at her rear to check for potential soon-to-be-breakfast sightings.

Even worse than being impatient, I can also be unfair.I learned to love Fiona over the others within a few hours of meeting her. She just seemed like that bad-ass, strong, independent and curious kind of gal that I knew I couldbe friends with.

I know what you’re thinking: she’s just a chicken.

But she had so much personality! She will walk fearlessly up to a stranger if they have something resembling food in their hands, and she’s always the first one scratching at the door to get out when I’m letting them out of the coop to scratch around the yard for a while.

But after a few days of throwing the best scraps to the chicken who reminded me the most of myself *ahem*, I realized that it wasn’t the otherhen’s fault that they’re shy or grouchy. They each deserve a fair shake. So I’m learning to be kind in a more equal manner.

I’ve also realized how much I like to slow down if my brain is occupied.

My husband will tell you in a heartbeat that the one thing I might just be the worst at in the whole universe is sitting still and being unproductive. (Just writing those words gives me goosebumps like hearing nails on a chalkboard.)

It’s true, I will find a thousand things to do before I will “sit around.” But with the girls, I find myself somewhat entranced when I sit down on the bench in their coop, and just watch them mill around and squawk and peck and scratch at the ground.

Before I realize that I’ve even sat down, an hour has passed and all I remember is seeing them walk around in a big circle in their coop. I think that kind of sitting still and observing nature is entirely healthy for me. And somehow, because I am slowing down to observe something that is still active, it tricks my brain into thinking that I’m not being totally unproductive. (Good trick brain, you really got me on that one!)

 

These are some of the very important life lessons I’m learning from my *extremely intelligent* hens these days.

What are you learning about yourself from nature?