Today is my 8th Wedding Anniversary and of that I have no regrets, joyously happy as I am with my wife and family.
I am, however, regretting not getting chickens earlier. I had planned to do it some years ago and even bought some of the necessary kit. Then, as so often happens, life and work got in the way and we put off getting our ‘chooks’ and over time have still not got them sorted.
I know the breeds I want based on ease of keeping, compatibility, health and particularly egg colour. I have done all the research and I’m ready and raring to go.
As we plan to move this year, it will have to be delayed again, but in knowing that our food standards will soon likely be dropping, this year I am now very keen to make it happen. While I know we could not come close to providing our food needs with home produced chicken, we can more than meet our annual egg needs with plenty to spare for family and friends. I’m also looking forward to the benefits of chickens for processing our food waste and providing a happy environment to our food means a lot to me. There is a big part of me that would like a smallholding!
As the UK government has approved law changes, allowing food produced and processed to a standard lower than that legally allowed by UK farmers to become importable from USA, I fear for our food standards, diets and long term health. Of course, there was no need for this law to be changed and it certainly won’t help us as a nation. It is designed simply to appease the US president enabling a trade deal to be created once we crash out of the EU in January 2021.
Whatever your position on Europe and regardless of your desire to agree or not to agree a trade deal with our European neighbours, there cannot be many people out there looking forward to low quality, dangerously processed meats making their way into the UK.
Easy to avoid those labelled to say that they have been ‘chlorinated’ or ‘hormone fed’, but the government voted down an amendment to ensure that food would be labelled clearly. Basically, we will be blind to the origin, quality and processes that our imported food has gone through. Food that has been processed into ready meals, takeaways, etc will be even less clear to the consumer. We were all outraged when we found out we had been eating horse labelled as beef. This is the tip of the iceberg.
So my thought for today is one of regret. Regret that farming in the UK (so closely linked to Horticulture) will be against competition that it cannot compete against. Regret that our food will lower in quality horribly within a year or so unless fundamental changes are made and government see sense. Finally, regret that I didn’t get chickens when I originally planned to (or since). I didn’t even have my own picture to use for the post. For the fun they bring, the food the provide and even the battles you have at preserving your garden against a flock of destructive hens.
I’m definitely getting some. I’m more resolved than ever.
chicken Image unedited wikicommons image (c) Duli Va Taken from https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chicken_%26_bird.jpg