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What?!?! Brooklyn farm.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I cannot believe this made the headline news. Its a little disturbing for me because its referred to as "an experiment". I can understand farmers who do it for a living, they have to, but...
post #2 of 14
If I had the resources to do that, I would. I wouldn't be as strict as he was, though... I would allow some outside sources for things that my local area does not produce. I struggle daily with humanity's (and my own) disconnect with the natural world. When we no longer respect the price a sentient being paid for our survival or don't care that a price was paid, I think it's a red flag for the future of our planet and our own species. We're all connected. If you can kill an animal yourself humanely and eat it, go for it... I don't have a problem with the natural order of things and the food chain. But I'm not wired that way for some reason. Maybe it's because I'm a city girl and I just need to grow up, or maybe it's because there is truly something wrong with it and now that we have the scientific knowledge to live healthily without carnage, we should. With our understanding of the world and our level of intelligence comes responsibility. Whatever the reason, my hypothetical farm would likely have animals for dairy and egg products only.

My deep convictions don't change my actions very much though, and I'm always giving myself a guilt trip. I merely stick with eating fish 90% of the time.... eating local foods and ensuring humane care and slaughter of animals is really expensive if one does it all the time. Yeah, I'm a hypocrite. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance reality with what my idealistic pipe dream-prone side desires. Every time I start to accept that sometimes it's just the way things are, I am reminded of Ghandi...Be the change you wish to see in the world and I get in a funk all over again.

Older people... tell me this passes with maturity and age. I'm 26, soon to be 27.

This post caught me on a day when I had been thinking about these issues. I had a prof that lived as a locavore (but he was raised Mennonite, so he had all the experience and knowledge needed to make it work... plus he has money) and I just saw him yesterday. Had some of his farm fresh eggs... mmm... nothing like it.
post #3 of 14
I just read the remaining few paragraphs of the article... he did allow his family to eat what they wanted, so it's not like he risked their well-being. I really admire people who have the courage to follow their convictions, even if it means they discovered it couldn't be reality for them. At least he wasn't so delusional to continue the experiment after he discovered reality was more difficult than he anticipated.

I still hold hope that someday we will learn to do this. Or have food replicators like Star Trek... that would be ideal.
post #4 of 14
Originally Posted by Godiva View Post

I still hold hope that someday we will learn to do this. Or have food replicators like Star Trek... that would be ideal.
There's always Soylent Green
post #5 of 14

I'm all for this new synthetic meat I keep hearing about.... would be nice if we could get to the point of replicating any flavor and texture.
post #6 of 14
For several of my teen years, I was a "vegetarian" most of the time, but would sometimes eat my own backyard chickens. I had no qualms about it, so this sort of extreme locavore idea appeals to me on several levels. I'm the only person I ever met who wanted to grow up to be a "meat farmer". I figured raising meat animals humanely would be a worthy goal, right?

I eat other meat now, and I will sometimes eat chicken, but I prefer not to. Regular, commercial chicken kind of tastes gross, compared to "real" chicken (in my opinion...some people hate the taste of "real" chicken). When I buy it, it's usually free-range and organic. Dave is a chicken-eater, though, so it seems like we end up with more of the gross stuff than I'd like.

The factory farming of poultry just sickens me. I am not claiming it's so much better for larger livestock, but large-scale poultry farming seems to be inherently cruel from start to finish. I don't claim chickens are the smartest creatures out there, but to see a group of chickens clucking and vocalizing their little chicken heads off when they're let out to run around after a snowstorm (mine were generally allowed out all day year round, but couldn't do that with a foot or two of snow on the ground) just warms my sappy little heart. I hate to think of the billions of chickens that never so much as set foot on a blade of grass, much less get to hunt for bugs and tasty greens.
post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by katl8e View Post
There's always Soylent Green
It's people

There's all kinds of locally-grown food available without growing any of it in your own yard. Honestly if people were willing to only eat food grown in America we'd be way better off (look into how much energy is consumed transporting food that could have been grown in the place importing it) and we would know what we were eating.

Take milk, for example; most of the milk we consume is at least vaguely local (within a few states) and owned by smaller companies.

I suppose we're lucky though. In Ohio it would be pretty easy to only eat things from within 100 mile radius or so. Heck, there are still plenty of roadside stands and small-time farmers if you know how to find them. A lot of people live in places where it would be impossible to live without massive water works and everything shipped in.
post #8 of 14
When we buy a house I'm looking into keeping some chickens just for this purpose. I think it would make me respect the fact that my food is a living breathing creature, and that when I take it's life that it's only because I need it not because I want it.
post #9 of 14
Financially the farm was perhaps unsustainable. The costs rose to $11,000 -- or more than $120 per meal for the month.
I don't believe that for a single second!

Eleven grand to set up a backyard garden and buy some chickens?

He soon learned it was hard work -- seven days a week, six to 16 hours a day, tending his farm
For a backyard garden?! Again, I don't believe it! My uncle had a huge farm and I used to go and stay there for the summer. He put in that many hours a day tending dozens of acres. There is no way that this guy spent 16 hours a day gardening in his back yard!
post #10 of 14
I'm not really sure what to think or say about this.

IMO sounds like the guy did NOT do his homwork on raising animals of different kinds and how to care for them. Maybe he should have just grown some vegetables and one kind of "meat" to start.
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I don't believe that for a single second!

Eleven grand to set up a backyard garden and buy some chickens?

For a backyard garden?! Again, I don't believe it! My uncle had a huge farm and I used to go and stay there for the summer. He put in that many hours a day tending dozens of acres. There is no way that this guy spent 16 hours a day gardening in his back yard!
Maybe he had some extremely expensive greenhouses and had sheds built for the animals?? A walk-in freezer?

My husband grows almost all our fruits and vegetables; we have a greenhouse in the garden, a rented field, and our own half-acre orchard. While he's put a lot of time and money into his hobby over the years, it's nowhere near the amounts quoted there. We buy eggs from free-ranging hens and organic meat raised locally, and bread from one of the local independent bakeries.

So I suppose we're locavores to some extent, though I know other items like flour, sugar, ketchup, rice, etc., are produced elsewhere, even in other countries.

Jamie's definitely not a locavore, as his cat food is from Italy, Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand, with some ingredients from Asia and South America.
post #12 of 14
Jamie is one spoiled kitty cat!

I have to agree with Linda and GoldenKitty. This guy didn't do his homework, didn't know what he was doing at all, and made it more work than it should have been.

Anyone else notice that he lost many of his rabbits to a "maggot infestation"? Maggots feed on dead or dying flesh, so he wasn't caring for those rabbits very well.

And I'm sorry, if you're going to do an experiment like that you have to get your whole family on board. Having the 4 year old tell you that you can't kill the Ducks, or the wife freak because the rabbit killed her young (probably better for the little rabbits, considering the maggot infestation) says that neither he nor his family understood what he was getting himself into.
post #13 of 14
Ok, that guy did not know what he was doing! Especially with the rabbits. Died of maggot infestation? For one thing, totally disgusting and a horrible way to die. For another, nearly 100% preventable! The main thing is to keep the cages clean, don't allow feces to build up, and treat any ill or injured rabbits immediately. Funny how the 4H kids around me have no problem preventing flystrike whatsoever. Besides, Flemish Giants are generally considered inefficient for producing meat due to their overly large size, slow growth rate, and bone structure, and the better meat breeds (New Zealands, Californians, Satins) are far more common and easier to care for. Do your homework.

And really, how much money does it cost to have a big garden? Ours is decently big and seeds aren't that much compared to the cost of food in a grocery store. And what was he doing that took so long? My hubby's family runs a large cash-crop farm. Thousands of acres, my MIL does the office work, FIL does everything else, with one part-time helper and occasional weekend work from the kids and grandkids. Oh, and a herd of about 15 buffalo and a very large vegetable garden. And they still find time to be in a regular muskie fishing league.

I agree that people need to learn where their food comes from, but do it right! Animals don't need to suffer due to your lack of knowledge or ability to provide basic cleaning.
post #14 of 14
I would do this if I could. In fact, it's a little pipe dream of ours to have a little permaculture and eat as much of our own produced food as we can. I think this guy will get better with practice - and I really hope his animals stop suffering things like maggot infestations, because that is just downright cruel, disorganised and neglectful - but his ideas are spot on, IMO.

Since I have started eating ethically raised meat occasionally, I decided that there was no way I would eat anything that I wouldn't be prepared to kill myself. If I was starving, I would fish or I could kill a chicken or turkey (although I'd have to be starving) but why should I sit back and allow someone else to do it for me just because I'm too squeamish? I don't think I could ever kill a lamb or pig or cow, so I don't eat that kind of meat.

It's not perfect, but it's a start. Just like this man is doing - only obviously, he's taken it as far as he can.
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