Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Chicken Bowl & Conservation

   Anyone who visits the farm knows that we keep at least one "Chicken Bowl" going in the kitchen at all times.  This is not a bowl OF chicken but rather a bowl FOR the chickens.  

   We have a flock of about twenty-three hens and roosters, plus one turkey, six guinea fowl, and five geese who delight in leftovers of every variety.  They are hungry, baby.  Voracious.  Short and skinny but hollow legs, these birds.  We feed them proper poultry scratch and protein pellets, of course, but in their minds nothing seems to compare to the sweet and savory slop that emerges from the kitchen up to twice a day.  

   This purposeful use of leftover food bits and scraps means that we never have organic matter rotting in the trash can or crowding the fridge.  (Handsome is not a big fan of encore meal appearances, anyway.)  It also means that our yard birds are extremely well fed and also extra responsive to human approach.  The Pavlovian theory is in full effect here, folks.  Just try carrying a bowl anywhere near that little feathery corner of the farm and see how quickly you are surrounded by running, fluttering, screaming birds.  It's a lot of fun!

   The chickens thank us for the constant feasting by keeping us fully supplied with eggs.  We always have more than we can eat or use and plenty still to share.  They are big, heavy, colorful, densely nutritious eggs.  Sometimes a double-yolker appears, too, which is always cause for a little dance.  I collect up to eleven huevos per day and rarely less than four.  

   Our Chicken Bowl practice is just an example of what lots of people do to maximize the abundance of life.  We are so richly blessed, so steeped in resources, that most of us have more than enough to share something with others and still live very comfortably.  

   This also has me thinking of conservation.  Energy conservation is a big topic in our household because of Handsome's work with utility companies.  This summer we participated in a sort of experimental program whereby we paid different rates per kilowatt hour based on time of day, grid demand, etc.  We knew ahead of time what the costs would be each day and learned how to tailor our household activities to save energy.

   I haven't done laundry or used the oven in three months.  It's my little contribution to the cause.  I'm a giver.

   Anyway, the results have been amazing.  With minor adjustments in our routines and nearly unnoticeable sacrifices in creature comforts, we saved a few hundred dollars in electricity costs!  And this is in one of the hottest summers in Oklahoma history.  The idea has been to use less of the premium energy.  Simple as that.

  • Don't let anything go to waste; there is a wonderful purpose for everything.
  • Share your blessings with others.
  • Use less of what is not in abundance and enjoy the benefits.

   I am letting all of this serve as my springboard to the coming season of blessings inventory and giving.  

Wishing you abundance where you need it,
discipline where it counts,
and more fresh eggs than there are recipes for quiche.

1 comment:

  1. if we had chooks i would do the same. as it is, we don't, so our 'bowl' is for the compost bin. i hate waste.


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