This blog will chronicle my adventures in seeking to grow some of my own food in a way that is kind to people, animals, and nature. My faith will play an integral role as I wrestle with how to accomplish these things.
Yah (the God of Judaism and Christianity) teaches us to give some of our excess to the less fortunate, and I would like this to be an integral part of what I do, both through directly giving away produce when I have abundance, and through teaching and inspiring others to try their own hand at gardening, foraging, and/or raising livestock.
When you reap your harvest in your field, and have forgot a sheaf in the field, you shall not go again to get it: it shall be for the foreigner, for the fatherless, and for the widow; that Yehovah your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 24:19
Yah also reminds us to treat our animals humanely. We should care about their suffering and do our best to minimize it. We should make sure that their life as a chicken, or a sheep, or a goat, or a cow, is worth living, with minimal pain and distress. We should treat them with mercy and compassion.
Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. Proverbs 12:10
Learning about the misery that animals endure in factory farms led me to become vegan for eight years. I was never against eating eggs or dairy or meat, so long as animals were allowed to be animals, and treated mercifully. That’s why I planned to eventually seek out a local farm that I could trust to be ethical with how the animals were raised and slaughtered. By the time I was cooking for myself rather than eating in college dining halls, and my husband and I had a car, I was satisfied with my vegan diet. I ate well, and knew lots of healthy, tasty recipes. So I didn’t have the motivation to resume eating animal products as I had planned.
This past summer, we moved into a rental house with 11 acres of land. I am yearning to grow more and more of my own food, through a vegetable garden and also by finding a way to ethically raise my own animals. I don’t completely know where this desire to raise animals comes from. I know it’s partly because I love watching animals and taking care of them. I know I would like to show others that factory farmed animal products are not the only option.
All that said, I wrestle with finding the best practices for vegetable gardening and animal husbandry. I will never have all the answers, but I will find some of them by discussing them and trying to work through them.
I grew up in Kentucky on about 25 acres of land, and we had gardens, fruit trees, chickens, ducks, cattle, horses, and bees. But most of what we grew was during my early childhood, so I have very little practical experience. I am learning as I go.