The Story of the Year of Chicken, Our Friend

It’s been a very busy and full 12 years, since illustrating and creating the first “Year of Farm Bird” calendar. This time around, the “Chicken, Our Friend” song and story-line shifts into serious territory with a deeper focus of “It takes a flock…” as the calendar’s wisdom intention, and sincere message encouraging a new path for us all.

2017 Year of Chicken, Our Friend calendar cover

2017 Year of Chicken, Our Friend calendar cover

 

 

 

 

Rooster-Chicken-Phoenix-Bird is a universal symbol of transformation, rebirth and eternity. Bird year is a time of practical endeavors, conscientiousness, hard work and discipline. It is also a time of expressing inner warmth and insight, a time for quietness and privacy with our flock of friends and loved ones. Whether individually or in community, planning ahead for protection and nourishment will lend itself to taking inevitable but wise risks, facing failure honestly, and moving onward to the path of humbling, beautiful success. This year we will be strongly asked to confront and deal with any stress along the way–not ignore it—-requiring application of creativity, organization and perseverance.

Singing praise to Chicken, who like Dog is truly one of human’s best friends, we can take note of it’s remarkable physical structure—both muscular and skeletal—which allows for flight when necessary. Chickens are warm-blooded creatures, and have very strong hearts and efficient one-way breathing systems. Among other attributes, in the “permaculture world”, we feature the Chicken as a way in which to teach an important aspect of applying and understanding system design. By naming it’s intrinsic characteristics, products/needs…we begin the process of assessing a particular element, or thing, as in a chicken as one of our family friends, in a system, that together with other things, contributes to the whole. This is a good, simple, visual lesson in understanding relationship, how we are connected and what benefits or does not benefit the system and the role of the caretakers. Chicken graciously lends itself and takes a center stage role with a bit of righteous flamboyance and practical perseverance in this lesson.

The Permaculture Chicken

The Permaculture Chicken

In 2017, Hens and Roosters alike, will remind us of choosing the directions of up and out—or freedom and expansion is also about love and justice. This path is for us any of us choosing to become authentic, transparent, humble, and sometimes vulnerable. We individually focus our intention and choose to do the hard work to become better human beings and trustworthy in the eyes of those around us. We can personally maintain, improve ourselves by practicing yoga, exercising daily, creating healthy routines and habits—especially working at strengthening our lungs and hearts. Both security and freedom are attainable when we take on self-health, pride and well-being.

Frida/Diego September Chicken

Frida/Diego
September Chicken

Here’s a whopping paragraph of short sentence guidelines for flocks of all sorts in 2017 inspired by an excellent, essay by a permaculture practitioner and teacher Ben Weiss. This offering of words, for the smart, just and loving Chickens, suggest that collectively through structure, deepening and experience, we build our flocks/communities and deepen relationships with others by:

Being clear about our values. Understanding oppression and empathizing with the oppressed. Understanding privilege. Recognizing privilege is the responsibility of the privileged. Understand environmental justice–the crossroads of environmentalism and social justice. Let go of intellectual superiority. Prepare to be invited. Get first-hand experience/make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t impose solutions. Withhold value judgements. Recognize personal and professional relationships. Prioritize the issues of the community. Address oppression issues before environmental issues. Have realistic expectations. When in Rome…Take some personal risks. Give gifts carefully. Be an ally & an advocate. Leave decision-making to the community. Train leaders from within the community. Channel the fire of the youth. Small victories are big victories. Know when to fold ‘em. Phase yourself out.

The Fire-bird-Rooster-Chicken, instructs us to tend to our daily chores while following the guidelines and patterns of the conscious, community oriented flock. This Chicken year asks you to play it smart and safe, with thoughtful and protracted observation–a much, much, MUCH deeper, respectful understanding of your relationship with others. It is the flock, the community, that must ultimately lead.

“When Chicken, our friend, governs, the people are hardly aware that she exists. Next best is the Chicken who is loved. Next, one who is feared. The worst is one who is despised.
If you don’t trust the people, you make them untrustworthy.
The Chicken our friend, doesn’t talk, she acts. When her work is done, the people say “Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!”
-Tao Te Chicken-Ching

Good Dog Marley and her Chicken friend, Pearl

Good Dog Marley and her Chicken friend, Pearl

Special Recognition and grateful thanks to the featured Chickens & Dog: Emmy Lou, Pearl, The Tree Sisters, Frida/Diego, Frodo, Merry, Pippin, Josaphina, Hazel Crow, Johnny Bingo(who got away), Half n’ Half, Bonnie & Clyde, and Marley the Good Dog–friend of Pearl.
Much Gratitude:

Ben Weiss’s essay “Pattern Language for the Privileged”
Justin Rhodes article: How Permaculture Chickens Could Revolutionize Your Entire Property

and Harvey Ussery, author of The Small Scale Poultry Flock

The 2017 Year of Chicken, Our Friend Calendar is illustrated, created and words gathered by ©`penny Krebiehl, 2005, 2016
Available locally in Traverse City, Michigan,

Contact: [email protected] Online ordering: www.pennyokart.com

Direct to online ordering of calendar with printed story HERE

Sales of this calendar will support the artist-farmer who teaches and practices permaculture and garden-farms in North West Michigan.

Thank you so much!

Sprouting! 2016 O’k CSA Cooperative, share/member/grower offerings

Getting Sprouty

Welcome, again to the 2016 O’k CSA growing season!

It’s time to finalize garden-farm planting charts and seed orders, and begin the $ investing in start-up costs, so please do respond this weekend if you are planning to join our O’k CSA Cooperative again.  Early bird membership fees end on Monday, February 29th! Below are the membership designations.

Here they are–NEW Membership options for 2016:

  • BECOME a O’k CSA Cooperative Member/Grower!  For folks who have been or interested in hosting a garden-farm site, have an option to take on their own garden-growing space if they so wish with a minimal input by myself and the O’k CSA garden-farm interns at the beginning of the season to get you off to a great start.   Member/Growers will tend, gather and deliver their weekly harvest to the Peace Patch garden site on Friday mornings, in exchange for a CSA share box from other member/growers.  Additionally, for Member/Growers, I would offer a consultation for a fee, which would familiarize you w. the garden-farm site’s beds already in production and/or cover a spring consultation and garden bed design plan, also offering an opportunity for you to order plant starts from our stash. Member/Grower fee:  $45, yearly membership, PLUS cost of plant starts and any on-site work.
  • BECOME or continue to be one of our O’k CSA Co–op Share-holders.  This year, we are offering Full shares @ $450 and Half-size shares @ $275 of fresh vegetables, herbs and flower bouquets,  beginning June 15th, through September, with pick-up on Friday’s at our Peace Patch Garden at the corner of 7th & Oak, in Traverse City, Michigan.
  • BECOME a O’k CSA Sponsor and help grow the “green-collar” jobs we offer to youth 18 years and older, by helping to provide an apprenticeship and mentoring relationship with educational opportunities for two positions in the 2016 growing season.  Your support will help cover the registration fees for our CSA crew members to take the upcoming Traverse City Permaculture Design Course.

Please share our good news with others that you think may wish to join us as growers, members or sponsors of our community and neighborhood garden-farming CSA.  Below is a list of our current 2016 garden-farm sites, and also a link to the announcement of the LLOOF work-exchange program which is accepting applications and trains garden-farming interns/students in our cooperative.

2016 O’k CSA Garden-Farm sites in and around Traverse City, Michigan:

Cedar Lake East & North Garden-Farms, 12408 West Bay, TC (Beginning to design/layout, prep beds, amend soil)

DIGs, 510 Second St., TC (Our home-base for plants, seedlings and small mostly cold crop beds)

Frida’s Folly, 1120 W. Front St., TC (Mainly onion/garlic and lettuce growing garden-farm)

Little Artshram Teaching Garden,  875 Red Dr. TC (Longtime, wonderful sunny growing space, with perennial herbs & fruit)

Peace Patch, Seventh St., TC (This is our “host” on share-day, and full of brassicas and a variety of veg.)

The Sunshine Farm, 501 Seventh St.,TC (A new garden hosting potatoes, tomatoes and peppers and more.)

And a warm WELCOME to our new Member/Growers, so far:

Karen Comella, 8th Street, Traverse City, MI
Barb Tholen homestead, Cochlin Ave., Traverse City, MI
Levi & Brenda Meeuwenberg, Realeyes Homestead, Traverse City, MI

And, if extra space is necessary, we may continue growing a few viney crops at our Far Away Garden, @ Baker’s Green Acres in Marion

Information on the LLOOF (Learning Local on Organic Farms) program–Applications due March 1st: http://www.pennyokart.com/entry/2016-lloof-learning-local-on-organic-farms-traverse-city-mi-two-positions-available/

That’s all for now.

Adios, and see you real soon!

`penny Krebiehl

[email protected]

www.pennyokart.com

231-922-2014