Monday, April 17, 2006
We certainly love our chickens
Since leaving the Big Apple we have always kept chickens. A major contrast from urban dweller to country bumpkin. Being raised in NYC the thought of being a chicken farmer was something that I could not foresee in the crystal ball of my future. After I began this venture I later learned that my Father was the keeper of the birds when he lived on the farm in Germany. I never knew this about him, he never talked about the old days. Standing in front of the apartment building on 181st Street felt so far removed from the days when he put the birds out in the morning and brought them home to roost when the sun went down. Smoking his cigarette leaning against the grey concrete wall of the stoop I wonder if while watching the day turn dark in Upper Manhattan he thought of his beloved birds from another life, so long ago. His abrupt migration from the farm life was cruely forced by persecution, political conditions and World War Two. He never mentioned his boyhood chickens to me. My Aunt Sophie told me about this shortly after he had passed away.
My migration to the country was by choice and perhaps some intrinsic desire to return to my ancestral origins. The land links me to a culture that has far reaching deep roots. The chickens do ground me to the land and make me acutely aware of all the natural conditions of nature. I have learned that Nature can be both beautiful and cruel. Chickens teach you much about life. We work hard to keep them healthy & productive. Proud that we always have colorful eggs to sell locally.
At times I do yearn for the city life again but wonder if I could really ever return to a time when I did not split wood or keep chickens.