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a (not the) chicken coop

October 2, 2010

There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

-Eliot, ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’

Somewhere in my brain simple plans, with concrete steps, become challenges that I need to accept–for no particular reason.

For instance, I entertained transforming this garden shed into a bustling chicken coop. I figured it would take…

  1. building a new roof from planks and cedar shingles, to keep the chickens dry
  2. caulking the sides, to keep vermin away from eggs
  3. installing a roost for sleeping, and boxes for laying

Par usual, my basic plan became bloated…

  1. I need access for cleaning and gathering—so the door needs repair
  2. the chickens need safe roaming ground—meaning fence posts and chicken wire
  3. which means they also need an exit—converting the shed
    window into a drop down ramp could work

Still nothing complicated. Just more steps.  But then the propensity to revise, and re-revise, becomes an activity-or project-in itself:

Maybe I need more space, to have eggs for trade…

      …and automated feeders (with homemade corn feed!) for regularity

            …and a rooster (but what kind!) for protection

      …And what kind of hen! Sussex? Rhode Island Red?

Maybe I should read more…

All the time, those skeptical voices ringing!

‘David. You don’t need a chicken coop’
(me:‘but the eggs are not the point! I’ve been called upon to build it!’)
‘David, eggs cost like $3/dozen’
(me: ‘this is my gauntlet, my Agro Crag, my field of dreams!)

ah well

I never built the chicken coop, so this is my proxy. A chicken coop, one of many. A place to turn visions and revisions into action, by balancing our love of planning against our love of producing and reflecting (and self-reflecting).

Essentially this means recipes, food science, darkroom techniques, barn building and random projects connected (loosely) by a commitment to manageability, frankness and style.  A DIY blog with color and criticism.

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