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The Little Red Hen

The sad, bad news was that cost-benefit and available-income analysis determined we can’t establish a garden at our new rental property. Unable to come up with the cash to haul in compost, spread, cultivate and plant enough to recoup our investment this year, let alone getting the chicks and feed for our multi-colored egg production project. Recognizing the garden was merely break-even in the current year wouldn’t have stopped me by itself, but the harsh reality that I could afford the seeds, but not the soil was a real stopper.
the little red hen

That mini-tragedy has finally been accepted… almost. But the creative mind won’t let go until the time to plant is fully past.

This morning, a BREAKTHROUGH!!!
* SHAZAM *

Disparate pieces out of my dusty old brain clicked into place: “Subscription Farming”. In my version, which really isn’t subscription farming, 6 trusted friends contribute $150 each while the Mrs and I contribute land, tools, know-how, electricity, water, money already spent and the lion’s share of the work. The $900 covers the cash-requiring inputs to get the Easter Egg Chicken Ranch, or Liberty Garden installed at the right time.

I thunk a bit, then called a good friend who, while helping me unload U-Haul’s largest 8 months ago, had ruminated about this place being a good location for some kind of community farming project for those who have no gardening space, tools or expertise. If only a couple of Libertarians could figure out how to make it work.

As of this moment, He, his wife, and his two kids who are grown and on their own have committed to the first 4 subscriptions. I am confident the remaining two subscriptions will be sold soon, though my next-choice pigeons, I mean friends, are too sick to think at all today. The folks I have recruited are PARTICIPANTS. That is, they will be here helping us putter in the garden, which will make it all the better in several ways.

While they have the desire to grow their own food, they don’t have the location, tools or expertise. They are buying a piece of the garden with the dollars for purchased inputs and labor to get it going.

This is very much like a rewritten version of The Little Red Hen where she asks “Who will help plant my garden” and they answer “We will”.

The best is yet to come, but needless to say I am happily looking forward to growing high-quality food, sharing the labor and time with friends and sharing the harvest with them as well.

Plus it is somehow in my DNA to feel uneasy when I am not growing food – or maybe, put another way, I am more at peace when I am.