Self-Sustainability, Recycling, and Chicken Poop
Last week, I was reading an article in a newspaper about the next generation becoming more sustainable. “Self-sustainable” was the word they used. The article discussed how many Americans are now are turning to gardening and canning their own foods. Some are hanging out their clothes on the lines and others are making their own laundry and hand soaps. A few are raising chickens in their backyards and making their own grape juice. They made it sound like a new American concept.
I grew up on a farm with very little money so none of this “living green” and “self-sustainable” stuff is new to me. We grew nearly everything we ate. We hunted and fished and spent the spring changing squawking chickens into freezer-wrapped future meals. The goats went the same route but with a little BBQ sauce added.
We picked berries in the cold and shucked corn in the fall. We snapped beans, shelled peas, boiled the skins off of tomatoes and learned to bake fabulous cakes. We learned to wear gloves when picking the okra and cucumbers, be easy when picking apricots, peaches, and grapes, and to always watch for snakes. We knew how to feed ourselves. We never used the word recycle or self-sustainability, but we sure knew the word “waste.” As in: we better not waste anything!
I was hanging clothes outside as soon as I was big enough to climb on the chairs and reach the lines. We opened windows for air conditioning and rewashed the tin foil and plastic bags. OK, God forgive us for wasting, but sometimes, if momma wasn’t looking we threw away some of those bags. We ate the apples down to the core and had to re-peel the potatoes if we weren’t careful. We composted and recycled and sewed our own clothes.
Recycling was not simply a word but a way of life. Just ask the youngest siblings in any family if they ever got new clothes. I can tell you they did NOT. Hand-me-downs were the key to financial freedom in our house and many others. The worst recycling nightmare was the year momma made us matching outfits. As the youngest, I got stuck “recycling” that same dress four years in a row. The first year I gladly wore my new, hot-pink, quilt-patterned dress. It twirled and swirled when I turned. The second year, I grudgingly wore my next older sister’s sort of pink dress, while she took on the next sister’s dress. By the end of the fourth year, I was stuck in a faded, light pink dress with a few ziggly lines where the quilt-pattern had been. NO, NO, recycling is not new to me. THEY were all wearing new stuff and I was still “self-sustaining” in a limp dress with no twirl or swirl left in it. We lived recycling and self-sustainability.
We used newspapers to line our garden beds, old fabric went into quilts, and we walked to school. Don’t even get me started on all the things we did with a brown paper grocery sack.
As I finished the article on self-sustainability, I was totally convinced that this NEW self-sustainability needed some work.
They were advertising diapers for chickens.
Whaatt??? I had to go back and read that again. Yes, there is was in black and white. Diapers for those who wanted to keep chickens in their homes. They even had a picture. Pink diaper on a white chicken
Who in the world wants a squawking chicken in their house? It is readily apparent that these next generation folks have never actually experienced a real, live chicken. I mean, chickens are born to poop. They poop on their food and they poop in their water. They poop with every step and squawk. They scratch and poop. They turn their silly little heads and poop while doing it.
I agree totally with self-sustainability, not wasting, and recycling but I believe it might be time we go back and explore the twin sister to sustainability. Her name is COMMON SENSE!
Seriously? Diapers on Chickens?