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I’m building a chicken coop.

Granted, Joanna is less than thrilled with my latest project, but I have a feeling she’ll come around.  Her icy demeanor seems to be melting a little bit already, thanks to new neighbors that moved in down the lane.  You see, in a very short time, they’ve amassed a wonderful little mini farm complete with over a dozen chickens, several turkeys, and their very own miniature donkey named Ruth.

The boy loves to visit.  So do I.  So does Joanna.  How could she object to just a few of her own hens in comparison?

I’m sure we’ll have lots to share with you as we embark on our livestock adventure.  Especially since like most things we have no idea what we’re doing.  For now I thought I’d show you the coop build thus far.

Just don’t look too closely.  I know as much about carpentry as I do animal husbandry.  (read: zilch).

Here’s the result from one of our many lumber trips.  The foreman approves.

As you can see, that dude is a stickler for safety gear.

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The very first of many frame sections cut and ready to assemble.  All necessary tools and supplies accounted for.

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Fear my multitude of Evil Minions!

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If you’re one of the millions (And MILLIONS!) of loyal fans who can’t wait for me to take the reins… err keyboard… away from Joanna here at Midwestern Bite, you’ll recall a previous post where I admit I *might* be a Compost-aholic.

I’m saddened to say things have gotten worse and those large pallet bins were apparently just a gateway.  Unfortunately for my skeeved out wife, I’ve progressed.  That means working smarter, not harder.  You see, I’ve outsourced additional composting to a few thousand slimy, spineless garbage eaters.

Hi, my name is Mike and I’m a Vermicomposter.

Yep.  We’re the proud parents of composting worms.  Indoor composting worms.

Joanna was thrilled.

Before I show you their de-luxe rubbermaid apartment and how to best care for your subterranean underlings, here are a few fun facts I learned about worms along this journey.

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“Healing the World One Bite at a Time.”

That is the tagline for Polyface Farms – a family owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm owned and operated by my personal foodie hero, Joel Salatin.

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Photo Credit to www.polyfacefarms.com

This is the Husband.  Thanks for letting me step in on one of Joanna’s off days to quickly introduce you to Joel, and more importantly his philosophy and practices.  This will not be an exhaustive review.  Merely a little something to hopefully whet your appetite so you’ll follow up with a few links below.

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Since Joanna started Midwestern Bite, I’ve regularly been following along with her new world.  I’ve seen some of her “internet friends” grow into real friends.  I’ve found a few blogs in this stereotypically girlie niche I enjoy reading every day.  I’ve also found plenty I like to make fun of around the dinner table.

If you were like me and stepped into this strange universe of Foodie-Healthy-Living-Move-Everyday-Look-At-My-Latest-Juice-Cleanse-Miracle-Cure-While-I-Instagram-My-Feet… or for that matter visited your local urban Hipster Market or smalltown suburbia Farmer’s Market… you’d see that eating Organic and/or Local is all the rage these days.

Mr. Salatin’s practices are a little different, and a lot revolutionary only because he’s a throwback to how things used to be done for hundreds of years, yet implementing those core agricultural truths with modern technology like lightweight portable electric fencing.  Farming was done very differently before cheap oil.  Before a chemical conglomerate could manufacture the perfect 10-10-10 “organic” fertilizer mixture that ultimately runs off polluting our drinking water.  Back when farmers understood nature and worked with it to be successful.  Perhaps only by coincidence… maybe not… back before widespread outbreaks of salmonella and mad cow disease. When organic truly meant organic.  Not like today where “Organic(TM)” is a government regulated label that is given away to the newest mad scientist finding a loophole in harmful chemical balancing.  When free range meant free range, not stuffing 5,000 “Free Range(TM)” chickens into a massive noxious barn with one 12″ x 6″ door in a corner they’re unable to find since they don’t have enough muscle or bone density to stand up.

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