The palatial chicken coop has been finished for some months. Once again, my husband did yeoman's work to create a safe, comfortable home for our clucking girls. Already, we have discovered and enjoyed the fruits of his labor. I am so fortunate to have a man who will devote so much energy to the realization of my desires. I asked for a coop and he built it so beautifully. I wanted to stay home, so he went to the office. A patch of grass for the boys to run through, a raised bed for our tomatoes; it could not be done without him. Thank you, E, for turning my dreams into realities.
I have been asked by friends and family, why chickens? I don't know when exactly I became obsessed with the idea. Most likely it started as child, when I read Little House in the Big Woods and Anne of Green Gables. My cousins and I would play pioneers and wilderness family in our back yard. As I grew older I fancied myself a city girl - gallery openings, fancy restaurants, late nights at bars in skimpy tank tops. Now that I have moved back to Oregon, I know those pleasures were fleeting caprices. I still get a kick out of such excursions, but I find deeper equal pleasure in the simpler aspects of my life. Such as discovering an egg in the nesting box, a basket full of tomatoes, bundles of herbs drying in the pantry, barefoot children hunting for bright red berries in the strawberry patch.
After watching Food, Inc. and reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I became more concerned with the quality of the food my family eats. About the distance our food travels from harvest to table. The meals at my table became simpler and better. I do my best to avoid anything that comes in packages; whole ingredients, homemade bread and hummus, healthy snacks are the rule. An occasional juice box or granola bar is an unavoidable exception, but these are regarded as treats by the small people in my family.
And so this morning, my oldest son found an egg in the box, which I soft boiled in gently simmering water. He sat at the table, happily dunking his buttered toast soldier into the orange yolk. A simple thing, really, but worth so much more to our heart and home than the sum of it's parts.