Thursday, June 26, 2008

So Salem Article

Word has gotten out about the chickens. There is an article in today's Salem Times Register and one on the way in So Salem (a local insert for the Roanoke Times). Thought I would share the So Salem article, written by Miranda Atkins. --- Ok, originally I posted the entire article on here, but I've been asked by the Roanoke Times to please remove it and just give a link for people to view it if you wish. I will leave the headline and photo - just so you will know you've gotten the correct article if you click the link. They welcome comments on their site! Here is the link: And here is the headline with the photo, so you'll know what to look for:

Salemite goes green the old-fashioned way with a garden and a clutch of her own

Here is the link for the petition if you'd like to sign the petition (you don't have to live in Salem to sign it!):cu

I have to be honest that having these articles come out has made me really, really nervous. I don't believe in hiding, and I believe in being open and honest - but being in the paper and being out on the front like that is another thing. Thankfully I've been reading "Everything I Want to Do is Illegal" by Joel Salatin. Hearing his "war stories from the local food front" has given me the needed strength, courage and resolve to try and get through this. I highly recommend this book to one and all!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Welcoming Gabe

This is the first photo we've seen of Gabe. He's our nephew - the first son for my brother Ryan and his wife, Gemma. Gabriel Ryan was born at 11:05am today, weighing in at 7lbs even ... I don't know the length yet. Blonde hair & blue eyes.
This will be the third grandson in our family, fourth grandchild. We're really happy for Ryan and Gemma and wish them well. Lots of long nights where you LITERALLY get NO sleep ahead, as well as all those wonderful firsts. Congratulations!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Quick Chicken Update

The link I listed for our chicken petition has not been actually adding the majority of signatures. For several days in a row we were getting calls and emails of people telling us that they had signed the petition, or were trying to, but never received the required confirmation email, and thus their signatures never appeared. I tried contacting the site several times in order to get this remedied, but the only recourse of action was to start a new petition all together. Here is the link for anyone wishing to sign it:
We've kept the old petition still up so any signatures already on that won't be lost and not counted, but we're encouraging people to sign the new one.
The response has truly been amazing. At our monthly get-together for Big Lick-Green Drinks, I was just truly blown away by the number of people who were interested in having a couple chickens of their own. I can not begin to express my utter amazement at how many people say something along the lines of "Oooh, we've always wanted chickens!"
In a world where there are food shortages and riots globally, a recession and ever-rising food costs locally, along with continual outbreaks of salmonella, E.coli, and mad-cow diseases, and the food recalls that goes along with them, it is just mind-boggeling that we have created a culture where we can't raise our own food and take care of ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our communities. I can raise eggs that are many, many times healthier than store-bought eggs, giving the chickens a humane and happy existense (compared to those raised in a factory or worse a cage), and not bother anybody. But, there are those who would make that illegal. Who think it is appalling and attrocious. What is truly appalling and attrocious is not having the right to be able to do it. Not having the freedom to do it - especially since it does NOT bother anyone else, at least no more than as far as personal taste goes (such as if your neighbor painted his house in green and purple polka-dots). I can not afford to buy much of what I want and know to be right in the stores thanks to this recession and the rise of food costs. So, why should we have to suffer, why should my children get anything but the best, when we can humanely and safely raise it in the back yard?
I am currently reading a most-wonderful book. It is eye-opening and makes you want to slam down your fist in anger (but in a good way). I highly recommend it. It is: "Everything I Want to Do is Illegal" by Joel Salatin. He and his family run Polyface Farms in Swoope, VA (near Staunton). I can not wait for the chance to visit their farm, but for now I will delight in reading this book and learning from the things he has written in it. If you don't get the book, at least take a moment and check out their website, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

We're on the map!!

I've added our flock to the map of Urban Chickens. Check it out:

View Larger Map
We've had lots of feathers ruffled lately as we have had the City over, checking out our flock. They seem to be in agreement that our "gals" aren't the rebel-rousers they've been made out to be, and as one city official put it: "seeing it really puts it in perspective." We're now working with the City to try and change the official zoning regulations to allow any and all (who so desire it) to have their own backyard flock. This is very exciting (albeit stressfull) stuff.
We've also started an online petition for anyone to sign in support of this. Here is the link: - when you sign you will get an email confirming your signature. If you do not get an email (check your junk/spam boxes!), please go back and try again. Our apologies for any difficulty.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The boy is getting smart

I am one proud mama. Trying to homeschool is tricky, even when we believe in unschooling (which is harder than you might think to stick to). But it is all worth it when you see him learning something, even if he is turning the tables on you.
Case in point: When we are out at the grocery store and Shannon asks for fruit, I'll tell him it isn't in season. He is still a little young to fully grasp the concept, so I'll ask him if he sees apples (for example) growing on the trees outside. When he says no, I'll tell him that is because they aren't in season and that when he sees them growing then that means they are in season and he can have them. His latest fruit desire is peaches. Every time we've visited the farmer's market he's asked for them, and of course been told they aren't in season. So, the other evening we were sitting here and I was talking to someone on the phone about wanting some chicken. As anyone who has had a four year old knows, all phone conversations WILL include them. Shannon stated that he wanted chicken too. I told him that we didn't have any (they're still too young and small). He then looked at me and said "But we can have chicken, it's in season" just as matter-of-factly as he could. It took all I had not to break down laughing. See, he's paying attention.
Also, both boys really like the chickens. They both like helping me feed them, scattering some food on the ground for them to eat, and watching them peck for it. Shannon was out there with me the other day and learned the following things: the red thing on top of their heads is called a "comb," boys chickens are called "roosters," and he learned what our yellow chickens are called "buff orpingtons" which he pronounces "buff Or-Beantons." Very cute.
I'm very proud of both of them. Watching them grasp something and take it a step further is so immensely rewarding. It makes all the hard times worth every minute.