About Us

Why Write Another Blog?
Jeff and I are recent newlyweds who are interested in becoming more self-sufficient and reducing our dependence on the cheap, disposable, plastic-wrapped, on sale from Wal-Mart, imported from China, available in mass quantity courtesy of cheap oil, modern American lifestyle…..Our journey towards more self reliance sparked our interest in urban homesteading, and this got us started with what is called the gateway farm animal: chickens.

Unfortunately we learned that chickens are not allowed in our town so we had to undertake a more unorthodox approach to getting started with chickens. This is why we have “clandestine chickens.” As there is virtually nothing available on the web or in book stores on keeping chickens in your basement (other than warnings that its “not recommended”), we had to experiment and learn a lot as we went along… We have some how made this work, more or less, and want to pass along some of our knowledge to other intrepid would be members of the “chicken underground”.

In addition to keeping our micro-flock in our basement, We also are learning through trial and error, about gardening, food preservation, and many other crafts and skills to build an increasing measure of self reliance. Not only are we concerned about peak oil and rising energy costs, but also the plastic, disposable, Wal-Mart culture which has become the norm for so many people. By no means are we anywhere near totally self reliant but the more skills we learn now the better we feel about the future, plus we have fun with our hobbies!

We live our goofy fun lives together in a small suburban cape cod in an upstate New York rust belt city. While we are interested in self-reliance and survivalism, we feel that it is important to not let that paranoia take over your life. So much of what we read about is from people who work very hard to prepare for the great coming emergency and they give up so much of the enjoyment of today preparing for tomorrow. We write this blog to offer a new perspective- preparing for peak oil, food shortages, and many other natural disasters is the smart thing to do but you can do it in such a way that it is more about the journey of having fun preparing.

About the non human members of the "homestead..."

Scabby is really sweet. She will come up the pen whenever anyone comes over to visit. She never minds being pet, never pecks as us, and is a good sport about Cluck picking on her. However she is not the smartest bird. None of them are exactly brilliant but Scabby is always the one confused by things. The other day she got herself turned around the the dog carrier, and I couldn't get her out the front door since she was pecking so hard at the back of the carrier. She also is a total suck up to my parents. She has figured out that if she comes to them and lets them pet her she is guarantee either an apple or a worm....it kinda figures the only thing she is smart about is food.

Cluck is, well, kinda mean. I think she is the one who cut Scabby and she is always pecking at Jeff and I as well as the other chickens. We forgive her since she is a regular layer, and I think she was the first to lay! Although she really pushes her luck when we are trying to put fresh food in the pen and she pecks at our ankles the entire time!

Big Crown
Big Crown is the funny one. She is funny mostly because of how she looks. For some reason her comb/wattle is much larger than the other two and as she was growing her wattle grew in first and was really disproportionate. She is a regular layer (every morning as Jeff and I are waking up around 6-7 we can hear her crowing as she lays-just awesome!), her eggs are a darker color and speckled. She tends to like to be left alone and whenever they are outside for the nightly walk she is the one who wonders away from the other two. We have to keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't walk into the neighbor's yard!  

The Yellow Perch
The yellow perch don't have much personality, of course, but they do always come up to the side of the aquarium to see who is there. That has to count for something, right?
The worms have even less personality than the fish!
We recently added aquaculture to our list of household activities. The thousand or so worms we have live in a plastic trash bin along with wet newspaper and our food scraps. Click here to read the post about their set up. 

Quack and Louie after their bath
Our most recent addition to the "farm" clandestine ducks!