All week I have been thinking about work. Currently I am sitting in a Hotel room in Reno looking forward to seeing my Daughter in law get her Masters Degree from UNR. Erin is a great example of someone with a strong work ethic, she works full time, goes to school, writes a blog, and does a great job of keeping my knuckle headed son Michael pointed in the right direction. In my work I am surrounded by a lot of people like this but unfortunately have to deal with the other end of the spectrum also. Every time I got fired or caught up in a one man layoff I knew exactly what I did to create the situation I found myself in, likewise when my three sons got into trouble my first question was what did you do? In our house you were guilty until proven innocent. Apparently not everyone thinks that way.
Where I am going with this, besides bragging about my daughter in law Erin, is that my Orchard/Chicken project is about work. None of this stuff is set it and forget it, in fact if it was I would probably figure out a way to put some effort into it. A good example is feeding my Chickens, feed isn’t that expensive and I could afford to purchase top quality food for my girls. It is just more stimulating figuring out how to “beat the system” and find free or nearly free ways to feed them well without going to the feed store. This really sunk in when I was rinsing the seeds I was sprouting
Why was I doing all of this stuff just to feed my chickens? And why have I been working every weekend setting up and tweaking a greywater irrigation system for my Orchard? Because I, and I believe most urban farmers, are really looking for a challenge. And that challenge comes from using your wit and your back to overcome obstacles that may well be easier overcome with money.
It’s very hard to explain to the uninitiated the sense of satisfaction that comes from collecting your own eggs, or picking your own fruits and vegetables. I have had people try to quantify things from a business perspective explaining that my eggs are really costing me 4 or 5 times more than I could purchase them for, and that doesn’t count my labor. The old saying about the fruIts of your labor is probably an abstract concept to these people, but in my case it’s a literal concept and one I think more and more people are striving towards. In this modern world where so little is within an individuals control it is comforting to know that I had at least a little bit of control over the quality of the eggs I eat.