The Birds & the Bees :: Why Have an Urban Homestead?
When people hear we have chickens and beehives in our backyard, there's usually an enthusiastic response, or polite skepticism. And the assumption we're crazy California hippies.
Crazy Californians, yes. Hippies, no.
Here are the reasons why our family chose to have an urban homestead...
We are nerds: Everyone in my family loves biology. Having an urban homestead filled with animals and plants makes complete sense. It's our zoo / laboratory / playground.
At 3:00 p.m. every day, we see baby bees swarm out of the hive on their first flight. Like a buzzing, cuckoo clock, the bees hover in the front of the hive, memorizing the outside of their home so they can return after collecting pollen and nectar. Our chickens magically transform bugs and weeds into golden eggs. We hear giant, metallic green fig beetles zip by like helicopters in the late days of summer, see fuzzy yellow carpenter bees with emerald eyes in the beginning of spring, and pick up chunky grubs the size of a thumb in the compost bin. It's amazing. It's science and nature. It's our homestead.
I like pretty things: I am a designer and I like beautiful things. In a backyard full of plants and animals there is an evolving light quality, seasonal color, daily growth, organic shapes and smells and sounds...there is endless inspiration.
I do not like Pokemon or Candyland: I wish I could sit for hours playing Pokemon or Candyland with my kids. I can't do it. My boys don't like cleaning their room or other activities I find super enjoyable. For them to do. Playing and working in our urban farm is what we enjoy doing together. As a friend once said, "Kids who don't grow up in the dirt, don't grow up right." If that is the measure, my kids are growing up all kinds of right and all kinds of messy.
We love eating. We love food. We love eating food. I don't need to explain this, right? Like how stunning a watermelon radish can be? Or the amazing acid/sweet burst of a fresh cherry tomato? I can show you.
Those are all good...no, EXCELLENT reasons. However, our love of science, beauty, fun, and eating delicious food are the main reasons we grow food and raise bees and chickens in our Modern Hive.
....And, because we are crazy Californians.