Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What's the opposite of CAFO?

I opened my email this morning to a headline about a food I'm probably eating several times a week, but that is incredibly dangerous. Curious, I clicked on the link. It was an article about chicken raised in a confined animal feedlot operation, which is where most of the chicken that Americans eat does come from.

I don't eat chicken from a CAFO. In fact, my backyard, this time of year, is a poop jungle. We don't even mow back there anymore, because, mostly, there's no grass. There are lots of other wonderful green things growing, not that we can eat any of them, because they're covered with poop, and I've given up trying to plant the several garden beds I have back there, because the plants just get trampled and pooped on, or dug up and eaten.

When I've spent a couple of hours planting seeds, only to find the tender greens munched by my chickens, I question the wisdom of having those damn birds back there, but then, I read an article, like the one linked above, and I know that it's a good thing. I am doing the best I can for myself and my family, and if it means that I have to be more creative in my planting to ensure that I get to harvest the plants, it's totally worth it.

And about that poop field of a backyard ... we have the greenest groundcover in the neighborhood. It's not all grass, but it's all beautifully green. I guess a heavy infusion of nitrogen in the soil will do that.

These are the free-ranging meat blobs. They're about six weeks old and will be going to see Ken in a couple of weeks.


  1. I tired buying rabbit fencing and lade individual cages around some of the veggies. Works great! Bearing in mind you probably grow a lot more than me, atleast they can free range around the plants and not kill them. I have the tomatoes separated with chicken wire, works well too... Great video on youtube about rescues hens-

  2. Interesting video, I've seen that before. It really is slave labor. Hopefully there's more small set up that will do well over time, with more small organic chicken farms coming up. I know more egg farms are going that way...

  3. I love that euphemism, it sounds very sinister.. today we will go and SEE KEN my lovelies.. that will teach them to eat your garden!

    1. Ha! Ha! Actually the lovelies in the picture were destined from the day they arrived on our nanofarm to, eventually, see Ken. We have a flock of laying hens, but those guys are the meat birds we raise every summer.

      Unfortunately, they aren't the ones who destroy my garden, and I can't complain (too much) about the one who do, because most of them give us eggs.

      I'm really not complaining, though. I have an amazing life, and I'm incredibly blessed - even if my garden is smaller than I'd planned ;).