Minimalism and Consumerism

Consumerism is the act of consuming. We are all consumers. We consume air, water and food in order to live. We consume resources by living in modern homes. We consume media, and ideas, and attention.

Minimalism is living simply but it is not anti-consumerist. It is, however, anti-excess. Excess means different things to different people. Some religious orders value austerity as an external display of piety. Some non-deity based lifestyles consider attachment the root of all suffering. Minimalism is like these orders and lifestyles but with a little self-serving heresy in the mix. We’re all just looking for our happy place.

My kind of minimalism is, at this point, a self-serving way to make my life more easier. I’m not claiming a high-road because my road waves up and down, and winds back and forth. Today – at this very instant – I want less stuff because it’s easier to have less and harder to have more.

Am I anti-consumerism? Well that’s a can of worms.

As defined above, no I’m not anti-consumerism. However, if a star-consumer (in the market sense of the word) waits in long lines for the next itech or pre-orders that new whatever even though they have working tech and working whatever, well then YES! I am anti-consumerism.

Right now, we’re going through our bookshelves (again). There is a stack of about thirty books next to my desk to sell, and about 50 that went to the donation store last week. The further down the rabbit hole we go on our minimalist journey the more difficult it is to let go of things, but also, the more rewarding it is. So I guess we’re still on the donate side of the happy place.

➺ What about you?
➺ Where does your life fall on the
[ buy everything ————— happy place ————— donate everything ] line?
➺ Where is your balance between star-market-consumer and throw it all away?
➺ What works for you?

Until next week, keep it simple. 😉

 

How To Introduce a Hen to Baby Chicks

So the three babies are a week old. Rosemary, Vera and Alphonse are happy and growing. We hope to introduce them to the flock in seven to ten more weeks, depending on the weather and how quickly they swap chick fluff for pullet feathers. They could use an advocate when they join the flock so we are pairing them with one of our broody little hens, Demitasse. Initially we thought Demitasse and her sister Cappuccino were Easter Eggers, but it turns out they are Sicilian Buttercups.  Who knew?

Demitasse is low chick in the pecking order. We picked her instead of another quasi-broody hen so that she will have three friends, and if all goes well, the rooster Alphonse will protect her from the other hens when he’s an adult. We are not chicken psychologists so we’ll have to wait and see how this little social experiment works out.

In the following video you can see Demitasse in the small brooder with the chicks. We also outlined the plan in a little more detail. There are 5 steps to creating a surrogate chicken family.

  1.  Identify a broody hen.
  2.  Get chicks.
  3.  Place the hen in the brooder with 1 week old chicks.
  4.  Keep mother and babies isolated from the rest of the flock until fluff is gone. The chicks will be 10 to 12 weeks old.
  5.  Reintroduce the family to the flock.

How’s that for farm science?  We’re not sure how this is going to work out but we’ll let you know!