The Backyard and Other Exotic Locations

My greatest fantasy is to be a farmer. I know, it’s hilarious, but it’s not that far-fetched: there is such a thing as the modern Jewish agronomist, ya know.

Growing one’s own organic food seems like the most worthwhile aspiration I can imagine, and every year our backyard garden endeavor gets more ambitious. Actual acreage might be a pipe dream for now, but El Yenta Man and I have been quite busy with our homesteading activities as of late: I’m tending to a couple of trays of sprouted tomato, cucumber and pepper seedlings like they’re endangered polar bear cubs, spritzing them with water every few hours and cooing over them.

Much to my mother’s horror, I’ve decided that we also need our own chickens. The kids are ecstatic since this will make our house much cooler than their friends with the trampoline. I’ve heard that chickens aren’t indoor pets and have been advised that they can’t just share the dog’s crate, so EYM has been charged with building a chicken coop. I have total faith in him in spite of the fact that the most complex structure he’s ever constructed is a pre-fab desk from OfficeMax. Photos to come.

Tied as we are to our suburban agriculcha, we haven’t been anywhere but the hardware store in a while. But those close to me have been spinning ’round the planet like airports were going out of style:

You may recall that my Brother the Doctor was dispatched to Haiti after last month’s earthquake as part of a government trauma team and spent two weeks tending to broken bodies in hellish conditions. He rolled through Savannah a couple of weeks later, tight-lipped about the experience other than to say it was the most disastrous situation he’d ever seen — this coming from someone who has practically lived in emergency rooms for the past decade. Hardly a fabulous travel experience, but I suppose he can cross it off his list.

Speaking of life lists, my mother and father fulfilled a dream when they went to Cuba recently. As a writer and a photographer, respectively, they were chosen to be part of a cultural delegation and participate in arts exhange — pretty cool, eh? They met film directors, saw live music and attended museums, but alas for those of us hoping for souvenirs, there was no shopping to be done. Read Marcia’s article in the Phoenix Jewish News for more!

Though travel to other countries sounds amazing, the Yentas are far too occupied with our own 1/4-acre adventure. And I just heard EYT swearing from outside about the wrong-sized screws, so it looks like I’ll be making my third trip to Home Depot in the last two days. That’s cool – the scenery isn’t so bad, and everyone speaks the language.

5 thoughts on “The Backyard and Other Exotic Locations

  1. I need some clarification- are we talking chickens as pets or as dinner? Or are you getting ready for the High Holidays and kapparot?

  2. LOL!!

    Glad to hear that you are not adding a slaughterhouse next to the coop. Building that could really test El Yenta Man’s limits.

    Seriously though- sounds amazing and I am so impressed that you have stepped up and will be “buying local”. 🙂

  3. impressive indeed! i, too have images of a garden that will make us more sustainable. i had a childhood friend with chickens (for eggs) and indeed, his house was way cooler than ours! best of luck! can;t wait to see pics 🙂

  4. Not that horrified if I get a fresh omelet! I think it’s awesome you want to play in chicken s**t! You are a “farmer” of ideas! Hey, and thanks for all the family connections! We’re not just baking out here!

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