One of the most transformative decisions for an adult is to put themselves into a position to own rather than rent their home. Ownership in every area of life produces connection, accountability, and pride.
COVID 19 has caused many to take ownership of where they get their food. Many people are taking renewed (or brand new!) ownership in harvesting the fruit of their own labor by gardening, raising chickens or a number of other opportunities.
A variety of reasons could be promoting this change:
not wanting to depend on stores to provide all your food
worries over availability or quality of food
wanting to limit your trips and exposure
striving for self-sustainability
reduced income or threatened future income
freeing up food supply for others who cannot garden
supporting local farmers
teaching your children (and self) how and where food comes from
During wartime, Americans used to plant victory gardens and raise chickens to supplement their food supply. Whether it’s 1940 or 2020, gardening and other homesteading activities provide purpose and channel anxious energy into something productive and tangible.
Raising chickens for eggs is a common way to supplement with a high-quality protein source. Farm supply stores are selling out of chicks shortly after receiving their shipments due to such high demand. I looked online at over 20 stores to purchase hardware cloth to construct a chicken run and finally found enough locally to build my own coop and run.
Our family has renewed ownership in our food and decided in March to raise chickens for eggs (among other homesteading activities)! *Be sure to check you municipal code if they allow chickens in your area. We found some Rhode Island Reds and Golden Comet chicks. Our toddler boys have loved feeding and watering their chickens. They love watching them and our oldest wants to “play baseball” with them. Every day our 3-year-old comments that “They are bigger again Mommy!” and “When do we get eggs?”.
Though we haven’t yet harvested our first egg, we’ve gained much from this experience. We’ve enjoyed the time discussing with our many chicken farming friends. My husband and I were able to work together on our accidentally custom plans for our chicken coop and run that in full disclosure was sometimes more “fun” than fun, but we have something in our yard that contains memories we will laugh about for years to come.
Ownership is transformative. As a dietitian, I am wanting to optimize my family’s health and nutrition to provide the best quality eggs (their food sources help determine the cholesterol level, vitamin and mineral level of the egg). The boys we build ownership as they learn patience, how to care for animals, and a chicken’s lifecycle. Interestingly, both boys have wanted to eat eggs more often since we got chickens and talk about how chickens make eggs. Ownership just makes things taste a little better.