Sometimes you get forced into meetings by Politicians and Zoning Officials who insist that they are here to save us by writing Zoning Codes that are going to regulate where, how many and what kind of vegetable or animal you can have and where you can have it and protect us from ourselves! These last 3 weeks have been a blur with meetings. First I met with someone from the Zoning Office who was very happy to meet someone who was, " actually involved in agriculture and not just a small veggie garden or 1 or 2 chickens." I thought that meeting was fairly productive though the person I met with was not in a position to make changes to the proposal, but rather to report back about what we had talked about. Then I met with one of the people responsible for writing this inane proposal. She is a retired Asst. Prof of Anthropology, never farmed or lived on a farm, she may have visited a farm when she was writing this 46 page monster. Then last week was the Public Meeting on the Urban Ag Proposal, which consisted of almost an hour of them telling us why they think they are helping us by writing all this into law and how it has to be punitive in nature for it to have any effect and any ability to be enforced. This meeting was totally a waste of time as during September, the City released a new draft proposal which by their own admission was a work in progress and that there were lots of things that needed tweaking.
This past Monday, I had a meeting with the City Council Person's staff that represents the ward my property is in. Though the gentleman was very polite and empathetic and did a lot of agreeing and head nodding I felt that there was not a real sense that anything was going to be accomplished.
So that is the main reason I have not been posting and editing like I should have. If we lose this, then I become an outlaw as I have too many sheep according to them and also too many chickens even though I am on 2.5 acres and on the far South side of town, literally 4 blocks East of County Lands and "never should have been zoned as residential," though no one is willing to just fix the error.
Elizabeth's main objections at this point are that sometimes the animals smell and she doesn't want to deal with that. I explained that I do not expect her to be in the fields or pens with me. She said that she expects to be involved with whatever "her man" is doing. So, I asked what if he works in an office, you can't help him there... It turns out, at least, in my mind that because she is a huge hiking fan and does 15--20 mile hikes on weekends that having animals would inhibit her hiking because we can't just get up at 5 on a Saturday or Sunday drive 2 hours, hike 15-20 miles then hang out with her hiking buddies because I have animals that need feeding and watering and plants that need tending to. I can't just leave and get away whenever I want to.
A friend has a couple projects he'd like help with. He has a couple of trees that need to be taken down on his property but his plan is to get there early on a Saturday, drop the trees clean up the property a bit then stay overnight and finish the projects Sunday morning. Again, this doesn't work for me because I have animals to take care of now.
Time and responsibility take on totally different contexts for homesteaders, gardeners, those keeping animals or new parents as they can't drop everything on a whim to go out, we have plantings, harvests, birthings, repairs and a whole realm of things our 9-5 office job friends wouldn't understand.
When I was talking to a friend at one point he asked why I couldn't just leave it for the morning or when I got back to it, like he does at work. I explained the how and why of why I couldn't do that, he replied that he could never do what I am because it is just too much work and responsibility. He likes the 9-5, where things will wait if it isn't gotten to...
You will find that friends may not understand this when they call and want you to go out or come over to catch up.