Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

HOMEGROWN Life: Parenting Lessons from the Barnyard

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

 

HOMEGROWN-LIFE-BLUEIt’s hard to find better examples of parenting than in the barnyard.

For months now, I’ve been enjoying the lessons all the animals have been teaching me about unconditional love, sacrifice and patience, the basics of parenting. I’ve watched when a sudden storm brews up and a cold rain starts pelting down as my tiny Bantam hen Mama huddles down to accommodate 7 bits of fluff under her, protecting them from the wet and chill. When one scoots out prematurely, before the rains are over, she’d rearrange her entire body, adjusting to a reordering of the fluff balls beneath her.

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One of my Royal Palm turkey hens created a nest of 21 eggs, nestled in the catnip bed. Each day I watched as she added yet another egg until she was satisfied with the number. She then sat, with breast feathers fluffed and wings stretched over the brood, keeping them safe and warm. When she’d take a short break to stretch her legs or get a drink from the pond, she’d return to the nest, lower herself over the eggs, turning them as needed to spread her warmth evenly over their ever thinning shells. At day 28, on my birthday, they began to hatch. 15 brand new turkeys now occupied this Mama’s every waking moment.

I moved the family into the coop and immediately Daddy came to assist in the raising of the young. At times, he would chase Mom away, as if to say, go take a rest, I’ve got them. The poults would transfer from under Mom to snuggling under and around Dad. When Mom needed a dust bath in the herb garden, she’d take the little ones with her and Dad would sit nestled in the nearby grass, watching.IMG_6578

One of my does, Sea Princess, became a Mom this year. Her babe, named Piper, after a bagpiping friend came to visit, has grown up nursing. This is a first for the farm as usually babes are bottle raised to better supervise their intake. For months now, I’ve watched Sea Princess and Piper form a Mother and son bond. They share a subtle language, sometimes vocal sometimes through a look. From Mom, it seems to say, I’m never far away, I’ll keep you safe. From Piper, it’s all about trusting that she means it. I’ve been blessed in that he’s extended that trust to me. He and I are embarking on a new journey together as he is beginning to train as a draft animal. That means, when he’s big enough, he and I will be taking trips together with him pulling me along in a cart and in the winter, plans are for a sleigh. It’s another form of trust in learning his commands, standing still while we put on his gear, listening to what I say. I listen too.

Sometimes, Piper just wants to play. At 16 weeks, I hear him when he seems to say I just still want to be a babe. At those times, we forget about gear and just head to the pasture where he runs through my legs and then eventually finds Mom who is happy to provide him with a big of nursing before a nap in the sun. Being a parent. It’s a delicate juggling act. I’m just thankful I have so many good parents to enjoy and blessed that they share their little ones with me here on the farm.

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MORE FROM DYAN:

HOMEGROWN-life-dyan-150x150Dyan Redick calls herself “an accidental farmer with a purpose.” Bittersweet Heritage Farm, located on the St. George peninsula of Maine, is a certified Maine State Dairy offering cheeses made with milk from a registered Saanen goat herd, a seasonal farm stand full of wool from a Romney cross flock, goat milk soap, lavender woolens, and whatever else strikes Dyan’s fancy. Her farm is also an extension of her belief that we should all gain a better understanding of our food sources, our connection to where we live, and to the animals with whom we share the earth.

PHOTOS: DYAN REDICK

It’s Twinsanity: How A Locavore Feeds A Family Of Eight On One Income

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

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Heather’s blog, “It’s Twinsanity“, is an account of every day life with two sets of twins + two more kids + a military husband. You may think she has superpowers or a couple of nannies, but she runs the house and feeds her family by keeping things simple – which includes subscribing to CSAs and shopping at farmers markets. In this post, she breaks it all down:

I can’t even count the number of times that I have had someone ask me how we can afford to feed a family of eight on one income. One military income. And what they don’t usually know is that we eat fresh, organic, healthy foods and I rarely use coupons. How do we do that on such a limited budget? Because we are basically locavores.
A majority of what we what our family eats each week arrives on my doorstep on Thursday mornings in a brown cardboard box. It’s always like unwrapping a special gift when we look inside our box and see what foods we’ll enjoy in the next few days. Where does this mystery box come from? From a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it’s a beautiful thing. All across the country, farms of all sizes offer their bounty to local customers who pay for a share of the crops. (Continued here)
Of course, our options for eating local produce vary by geography, but there are more year-round farmers markets than ever, so don’t let that stop you from trying! Have some skeptics in your midst? Pass this along!

HOMEGROWN Life: Simple Living From A Complicated Life

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

The busy, every day life of a single mom.  Working the 8 to 5 and then some.  Paying someone else to watch my childrens’ first milestones.  Eating from the drive thru, most times while sitting in traffic for an hour to two every evening, and not even giving it a second thought.  I paid for everything on credit and bought everything that my children desired.  I worked more to try and pay it off.  I rarely had groceries in my kitchen because we were never there.  I rarely took my children outside to play because they were always asleep when we left and arrived at home.

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Then we were given an opportunity.  To move from the big city to a small backwoods town.  Work would be no more than a 5 minute commute.  I could be home before school got out.  Dinners could be enjoyed as they should, the entire family around the table, eating a home cooked meal.  We’d have time to play outside and enjoy our own yard and the surrounding parks and beaches before bedtime.

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I got married, and had another baby.  I stopped working altogether.  Cloth diapers were in full swing for the first time.  I refused to use commercial lotions, shampoos, soaps, diaper creams on her.  I started making my own laundry detergent.  I would wear my baby everywhere and started everyday with the mentality that I could do it better for my children.  I started baking and cooking from scratch.  My first few attempts drew many a wrinkled nose, but they would encourage me to continue.  I have a few supporters, but many more would soon follow.  I taught myself to sew, knit, and crochet.  I gave birth for a fourth time.  I buy local, organic, and in massive amounts.  I bake from scratch.  Cook from scratch and plan dinner menus months in advance.  I try not to buy new if I think I can find it on Freecycle or Craigslist first.

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Now, I am more determined than ever to provide a simpler, slow, homemade life for my children.

Tory’s blog: Champagne Wishes and Coupon Dreams

 

Tory, Sequim, WA
I live in the Pacific Northwest with my non-tree hugging, environmentally friendly, dreamin’-of-farming husband and our four wild, dirt lovin’ kids.  When I’m not writing of the adventures (or misadventures) on our micro-homestead, you might find me stalking Craigslist, Freecycle, or Facebook.  And since I’m all about multi tasking, I’ll probably be out gardening, baking, menu planning, home-educating, exploring with the kiddos, and scheming on how to get chickens past my HOA.