The gateway theory, when applied to drug use, is the theory that the use of less deleterious drugs may lead to a future risk of using more dangerous hard drugs and/or crime. Recently, I was reading a book on backyard chicken raising, and I saw a reference to chickens as the “gateway animals.” In other words, once you get a chicken or four, within a few years you may very well find yourself living on a small plot of land out in the country, surrounded by goats, sheep, rabbits, rows of vegetables and canning supplies, and maybe even a cow or two.
I recognize that this might be an odd way to begin the story of how the inhabitants of a little house in a little neighborhood in Indianapolis wanted to live more self-sufficiently, but I realized, for us, chickens were not the gateway drug. In fact, worms were.
This is not to say that we didn’t already have not-so-latent do-it-yourself tendencies or a love for understanding where things come from, how they work, and, most importantly, how to do and make and, ultimately, live for ourselves. But I digress…
This blog will be a place where we share our trials, tribulations, digressions, and successes as we decide how we apply a more self-sufficient aesthetic to our own lives. Part diary, it’ll also simply help us keep track of what went swimmingly well and what we might be able to improve next season. I must emphasize that we don’t know quite what we’re getting ourselves into or have much of a clue what we’re doing, although who really does when they’re first setting out on some magic, chicken-related quest? We’ve got a lot of books and strong backs and brains. At the very least, I’m sure some of our predicaments will be mildly entertaining or outright ridiculous.
So to welcome the new year, I raise my glass to the worms. Yes, the worms, those lovely, unsung gateway animals living in a bin in our pantry who were responsible, in part, for setting us on the path to creating our very own space-farm continuum.