A few days ago, a friend and her daughter and husband came to see the rabbits. They are interested in getting rabbits as well and wanted to do a little research. I really enjoyed their visit because it was a chance to talk shop, and it got me to thinking about friends and community.
When I first got chickens in 2009, everyone I knew thought I was batty, even Nate. Chickens in town? Are you allowed? What do your neighbors think? Do you have to have a rooster? I fielded alot of questions because many of my friends knew no one else like me, especially someone who lived in the middle of town. So, with not knowing anyone locally who ran an urban farm, I found my community online and received the motivation, inspiration and simple knowledge I needed. Each year I've chosen a different pursuit to keep me moving forward with my goal, and I've depended heavily on my online community for help. Little by little, I am getting there, through trial and error and some success.
Since 2009, I have met others locally, chicken keepers, beekeepers, and urban gardeners, and I've expanded my community. Even my friends who don't participate in any of these activities, and who may still think I'm a little batty, enrich my life and show their support just be reading my blog or asking about the animals or the garden. I'm happy to say I've even inspired a few people to grow a few tomato plants when they had never thought to do so before. These same people are now talking about planting a garden this year.
Today, I don't have to reach out as far for support, and it's a joy to know I have both local connections as well as online ones to motivate, educate, and inspire me. I would have to say the new friends I've met both in person and online and the old ones who show their support in so many ways have been one of the best returns from of my urban farm.