This winter I've been working my way through Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Joan Gussow's This Organic Life.
They are inspiring, but daunting, examples of what I would like to be able to do but am not sure I'm completely capable of putting into place. Self-sufficiency, growing your own food, raising chickens and turkeys, patronizing the local markets and farms, keeping to a healthy, local diet respectful of the food chain, the environment, and yourself.
From Barbara Kingsolver I wonder if I could raise turkeys? Learning to eviscerate them, pluck them, etc., doesn't particularly phase me, I'd be more worried about the abundance of hawks I see in the neighborhood feasting upon them before myself. However would the food needed to keep them going be more expensive than themselves in the end? I create lots of good scraps -- which have been going into the compost -- but I've not a huge garden, nor funds for lots of feed corn (which I'd want organic in any case, right?) and there are quite a number of dogs in the area...
Joan Gussow goes on quite a bit about her success with sweet potatoes. And yes, I love these too. Could I manage to plant them when the ground is 70 degrees F and keep them in a back room at 60 degrees afterward? Am I sufficiently organized to do this alone?
At this point I've a strawberry patch, some garlic planted I hope for the spring, some lettuce plants, my herbs, and hopes to clear some more of the back garden to plant more this spring. However, as I rent my home every summer, it's not easy to plan a vegetable garden when you'll not be here.
At JP's? But that's pretty iffy, and I'm not there that much and so wouldn't be able to truly care for it.
What I seek is coherence, balance, investment, ownership, pleasure, nourishment, enrichment for my children and myself... And the fun of trying something, discovering how.
I'll see what I'm capable of. Before me I've a couple weeks of down time. The kids are with Erick, JP away, and my garden is staring me in the face. If not now, when?