She Is Going to Grow Up Thinking This Is Normal


Erin BaldwinI came home to my sister lounging on the grass in the front yard, sweet tea in hand. Surrounding her were several of our chickens; a palette of speckles, crimson and snow white, they pecked at the ground, clucked and strutted around indifferent to her presence. Stepping around them in hopes of sneaking a bit of chicken feed were our two friendliest goats, Willow and Juniper. I could hear Asterisk, our Labrador, panting in the heat under his black coat. He barked to greet me and then returned to his shaded retreat. Our cat Williams sat nearby switching his tail in annoyance at the whole scene.

I gingerly lifted Cora from her car seat and plopped her down right beside her aunt. She squealed in delight and took off crawling after the chickens. At just under 10 months, the sights and sounds of animals amuse her greatly. She let out another squeal as she managed to brush the tail feathers of a chicken before the hen quickly waddled off to another part of the yard in search of stray crumbles to devour. “She’s going to grow up thinking this is normal,” my sister said in reflection.


Hum, I thought to myself, I hope so.

I hope this is her normal. Creating this sanctuary is what is at the heart of my desire to homestead. I want her and her older brother to experience the joy and pain of living closer to nature; gain a sense of responsibility; learn teamwork and self-reliance; gain a knowledge and respect for the natural world and our inescapable connection to it; practice gratitude.  


9/7/2014 7:50:56 AM

Erin, what a great way to start life. That's exactly how I started life up to age 10. Then we moved to the city for 10 years. Sophomore year in high school we moved back to the farm. A wonderful two more years before going off to college never to return to live on a farm again. After 41 years in the corporate world of technology, I've returned to my roots with urban farming. I have three properties with one large garden, one backyard garden, and one in the planning stage. When my grandson lived with me, I tried as best I could to educate him on where food came from and hopefully some day his memories will take him back to those experiences. ***** Have a great children raising day on the homestead.

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