The Conscious Farmer: An Organic and Biodynamic Farm

The Conscious Farmer

I’m back in to the full swing of things and bringing you another episode of Chickenlandia Stories! Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit Pollen Folly Farm, run by my friend Kelly Uusitalo and her husband Mike Hernandez. Kelly and Mike practice a method of sustainable farming called Biodynamic, which involves using all the components of the farm to create a running system that benefits the soil and all the food grown in and on it. It’s a very mindful approach, hence the name “The Conscious Farmer”.

Kelly Uusitalo, Organic and Biodynamic Farmer

Pollen Folly Farm

During my tour, we visited the chickens and got some expert tips from Kelly regarding biosecurity, coop cleanliness, predator proofing, and even egg eating! She definitely knows her stuff, which is why I refer to her as an “Advanced Chicken Educator” while I’m a “Chickens 101” educator. I love learning new things from her. But the real education began when we toured her many gardens, all utilizing biodynamic principals.

Row of biodyamically grown greens

Visiting Pollen Folly Farm and learning of the painstakingly efforts Kelly and Mike go through to grow conscious food was a real eye-opener for me. Not only did it inspire me to get closer to my own food (did I mention I grew my own starts for the first time this year?), but it also gave me hope for the world. Like many others, I have fears about where the world is heading, with industrial agriculture being at the top of a long list of offenders. But then I remember that for every worry I have, there’s someone out there doing the hard work to make things right. Thank you, Kelly and Mike, for fighting the good fight.

Take the Tour!

To watch the tour, see some awesome chicken footage, and of course, learn a few things, please click the play button below!

What are some things you are doing to make the world a better place? Let me know in the comments below!

The Life of a Chicken Lady

Henlo, Frens! Well, this week has been a little up and down. We all ended up with chest colds which forced us to slow down and focus on healing. We’re on the mend now, which is good, and I did get a chance to create a vlog before the sickness hit! It’s all about my life as a chicken lady. I hope you enjoy That Chicken Lady Life on my YouTube channel. Just click the play button below.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel and click the notifications bell so you never miss any fun Chickenlandia videos. Stay tuned for a longer blog post next week, but in the meantime, let me know what your chicken life is like in the comments!

 

What is the Chickenlandia Way?

I’ll never forget the day I brought home my first flock of baby chicks. I had planned to only get about four or five, and came home with ten, naturally! At the time, I had no idea the profound impact that chickens would have on my life. Believe it or not, it was only about a year later that I taught my first class on raising chickens. I’ve continued to share my knowledge with others ever since.

A silkie from my first flock.

Some might question my dive into teaching about backyard chickens when my level of experience was so relatively new. All I can say is that when chickens entered my life, I just couldn’t get enough of them. I completely immersed myself in learning every detail about their nature and care. I faithfully followed larger chicken keepers that I respected and quickly developed my own style and preference. When I completed that first three-hour class at my local community college, a woman approached me and said, “I’ve had chickens for thirty years, and I learned more about them today than I ever knew.” I will forever be grateful for her kind words, because from that moment on, what was just a hobby became the way I would communicate with the world.

Book Dalia Monterroso for an event
Delivering my TEDX Talk, “I Dream of Chickens”.

From the beginning, I have always seen chickens as a wonderful common denominator among human beings. I quickly realized, however, that there were others who didn’t see it that way. I’m not going to speak poorly of anyone who has strong beliefs about how chickens should be raised. I get it. I have my opinions as well. But ultimately, I try to remind myself that chickens should be for everyone, and that not everyone is the same. Should I condemn the long-time farmer for free-ranging his birds with full knowledge that he may lose some to predators? I keep my birds safe in an enclosed run because it’s hard for me to lose them, but my experience is not the same as his. What about the person who culls her flock after two years of egg laying service? I keep mine until they die of old age, but my livelihood doesn’t depend on their eggs, and I also have the means to keep them as pets. Not everyone can or wants to do that. And that’s okay.

So, what is the Chickenlandia Way? It’s the way that allows more chickens to live a life outside of factory farms. It’s the inclusion of all different types of chicken keepers who love chickens. It’s a path that opens doors rather than closes them. It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s inclusive. That’s why my specialty is beginning chicken keeping, because I want people to know from the start that they belong here and that they can do it!

The place where everyone belongs.

Whew! I truly didn’t know I was going to write all that. But I’m glad to have the opportunity and I’m glad to possibly bring others the opportunity to raise baby chicks. For a very easy guide to get started, click the play button below!

What kind of chicken person are you? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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