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My Vermont: Lali Cobb

05/06/08 12:50PM
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I used to live in a place where people found it weird that I kept chickens.

How do you get eggs without a rooster?? they wondered.

What happens to all that...poop?? One woman actually worried that deer would come at night and eat my hens.

In Vermont, thank goodness, people are enlightened about critters. In my yoga class of ten, there are two shepherdesses, two women who keep goats, one who barters eggs for tuition (that's me), one who has donkeys, and one who raises turkeys. Vermonters understand that our relationship to the land is mediated by animals.

From the earthworm to the cow, critters keep the wheel of Nature turning: there are no vegetables without manure, no eggs or milk without vegetables. The Vermont landscape bears the centuries-old imprint of humanity and its retinue of helpful beasts. And if mankind is ever to achieve balance with Nature, Vermont may just be the model it needs.

Chickens on the prowl for cutworms; a wheelbarrow full of compost; a gardener weeding: this is my Vermont. In an era when most Americans have forgotten the history of the food they eat the cycle in Vermont continues for all to see, and be inspired by.

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