I love the play house chicken coop.
It represents my innocent and playful heart. I meant well;Now I know better.

I was at a party last year (just before the #COVID19 pandemic changed the world) and I was discussing farming with a colleague. Their position was that it was impossible to be a farmer (based on my experiences) they couldn’t manage the shame of failure. Straight face when they said this, by the way. There was a version of me that existed at one time that would have been horrified at this sentiment. That version of me craved convenience over confidence. I am a product of failure; I feel zero shame at my failure. What I feel instead is a desire to keep evolving, learning, and sharing. I am a product of the very culture I want to transform. The person who looks at a grocery store as the ENTIRE story of food. Thanks to modernism, technology, and capitalism this is true of many people these days. But an idea is not truth. It is a story that you create and use to describe what you can see. The trick is to always be willing to ask better questions. Yes, those questions will most likely lead to failure. But the truth is that wisdom nurses at the teet of failure. We grow very little from success; but we grow most at the hands of failure. This is a hard but necessary lesson. There was a time when seeing someone else succeed at something I was trying would make me feel shame. I burnt that nuisance weed down to the ground – with a flamethrower. My success is DEPENDENT on seeing what others do and learning from THAT. Case in point; my chicken coop.

[/media-credit] My first chicken coop, long before I introduced ducks to the ecosystems.

Precious, naive me believed this was a good idea at the time. In fact you can see the very evolution of this idea in this photo. You gave the “winter coop” and just behind it the larger coop. When I engineered these coops I believe I was engineering g from the perspective of the chickens. Small and scaled for one purpose; housing for small animals. I had not yet factored myself into their ecosystem. There did not need to be room for me to coexist in what I thought of as their “space”. But that was a failure of imagination. The enclosed ecosystems of Mezzacello I now realize need to be gracious enough for all components of that ecosystem to interact. That includes the humans.

i feel zero shame that it took me five years of continuous failure, evolution, and modification to discover this truth. I documented it all. I can point to specific moments like this and help others avoid these mistakes. There is a calculus to life that has variables of ease of use, integration, cost, and wisdom. You must be ready to factor for all of these when you make plans. My plans are changing – yet again. But they will make it easier for me to coexist in the worlds of these animals, these systems, these plants, microorganisms and fungi. As we should. I love the play house chicken coop. It represents my innocent and playful heart. I meant well; now I know better.

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