In the last couple of weeks the Nuggets have developed the endearing habit of following me around the property like a disjointed, clucking shadow, pretty much from the minute I set foot out of my car when I get home from work.
I walk to the garden, they follow. I walk to take the garbage out, they follow. I walk into the workshop, they follow. I walk to the spigot to haul water out to the donkeys, they follow. Just for fun I’ll do loops and zig-zags through the property, and, you know, I should probably be worried that the highlight of my day is playing follow-the-leader with a bunch of chickens.
I would find this strange, but my mother recently unearthed these photos of me at the tender age of six… hugging chickens.
All of the sudden my entire life makes sense.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago the Nugs followed me right out to the donkey barn, which was the first time these particular members of the farm had met.
This may be my favorite picture ever taken on this property.
The chickens and donkeys have entered into a tentative friendship, which is more than I can say for the cat.
He’s reserving his right to be unamused.
Other than irritating the cat, however, the Nuggets are totally earning their keep with this:
That, my friends, is a plate full of food that came straight from the garden. Scrambled eggs with chives, sauteed kale, and my first, tiny, vine-ripe tomato.
I know I’ve sacrificed a lot of “building time” for “farming time” this summer, and the truth is that I’m still trying to figure out how to fit both farm chores and demoing bathrooms into my schedule. But, whatever the cost in time and sawdust, being able to walk outside and make a meal out of things I’ve grown or cared for myself? That’s pretty damn awesome.
Instead of going to the fridge when I want a snack, I walk out to the garden and snap off a few beans to munch on.
One of my favorite foods of all time.
And it looks like I’ll have my fill of tomatoes soon, too.
Country life isn’t perfect. There are mosquitoes as big as bluejays, an endless amount of weeding, no air conditioning to speak of in the house. I need a truck, and a tractor, and a fence, and to get started on another chicken coop. I’m up to my eyeballs in hay and chores and unfinished projects on the house.
But you know I’ wouldn’t have it any other way.