mercredi 24 août 2011

S is for self-sufficincy

S is for self-sufficiency

It seems that everyone around me is embracing the Good Life. Even our octogenarian neighbours have cultivated a large field and look set to harvest enough fruit and vegetables to feed a small army. Our haul to date is three tomatoes, some iffy apples and a glut of plums. All is not lost, though — my rosemary bush is thriving and we have also gathered several sprigs of home-grown mint. Sadly, the coriander expired in the heat.

At any social gathering nowadays, everyone starts discussing their chickens, pigs, bees and I have even heard talk of alpacas. We have two cats (free range), three fish in a pond and an indeterminate number of frogs. We’ll have to jump on the bandwagon sooner or later – might have to go to a lotto [bingo] where the prize is that coveted live goat.

Chickens seem to be the most popular livestock, but there are pitfalls for the unwary. As one friend discovered, when ordering your chickens you need to specify that you want live ones, otherwise they come ready plucked. And someone else acquired six chicks looking forward to a future of delicious omelettes. They all turned out to be cockerels. Now, I just need to find a Euro, as I’ve been offered six eggs from a neighbour’s chickens… And there are rumours of aubergines, honey and melons wanting a good home.

I have no intention of turning vegetarian any time soon, but I have to admit feeling slightly uncomfortable at a recent barbecue where I ate chicken under the watchful gaze of our hosts’ three pullets. Rather like the time we had lunch (lamb, what else?) on a sheep farm under the baleful stare of sheep number 1071.

But we have embraced rural living. Only the other day I opened the car door to find some grasshoppers had made a nest in the door frame.

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