8 September 2014

Uncle Sam expects you to keep hens

How about these posters for the good old days, in the US at least. 


They remind me of a fantastic vege gardening book I read last year, One Magic Square. The author, Lolo Houbein, is passionate about gardening because she is a war-time starvation survivor: 

"During 1944 and 45 I endured the wartime famine in Holland and, at 175 centimetres tall, was reduced to 34 kilograms of bone and sinew. I carry an abiding memory of my hometown, Hilversum (population 80,000), breaking down as war action cut off the region. All trees became firewood, as did doors, cupboards, furniture and fences. Cats, dogs and rabbits disappeared. I starved rather than eat our rabbit, Trudy. Mice, rats and birds went into the pot. Rivers were fished out. We at sugar beet, which was normally pig fodder, and tulip bulbs, which made me ill. I dug for grass roots under the snow to steady my stomach."

34 kilograms. I shudder.

She gardens to give herself some security of food supply. It's good not to be totally reliant on supermarkets, and having your own chickens is part of that. 


They do need feeding, of course, those hungry hens, and I'd be in trouble if those sacks of pellets weren't available. Over spring and summer i'm going to explore novel, cheap ways to provide your own chicken food, even if it's just for a little supplementary feeding.

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