There are hundreds of useful herbs and spices, some of which are rather expensive. Many can be grown at home in much of USA. Some need pollinators such as bees that yield honey. Chickens can be used to control insects and rodents. Electric fences and an outside ring of large herbivores such as donkeys, cows, goats, horses can chase off chicken eaters and bears that may try to get the honey. Seems like it would not be hard to grow all the plant foods that a family or small village might need, and milk, honey, and eggs. Around here blackberries grow wild and all kinds of plants that I hear are edible. By raising it yourself you know it is organic and fresh.
I am impressed with how many diseases and health conditions are treatable by herbs, spices, and proper cooking and choice. I am also impressed with how popular is junk food and how expensive is Obamacare and the huge medical establishment needed to treat diseases caused by junk food and the lack of exercise caused by fast food. Most people would be better off growing most of their own food.
Readers share how they use chickens for pest control around the homestead.
There are lots of grasshoppers around here, but my hens patrol the garden perimeter fence and really reduce the numbers of insects in the garden. Before I got the hens, some crops were totally destroyed by the ‘hoppers. The hens also have helped control scorpions — they peck off the stinger and then work on the rest. The chickens also have reduced the fire ant population by eating the bugs and seeds the ants would have sustained themselves on. I have no ticks here, but the chickens have reduced one nasty pest that had been around everywhere — termites.
— M. Wade
New Braunfels, Texas
We have a 40-acre horse farm. Unfortunately, where there are horse barns there also are rats and mice. The horses leave bits of grain on the ground after they eat, and some undigested grain shows up in their manure. With all of this food, we had a serious rat and mouse problem. My grandfather set out rat poison, and a trip to the veterinarian and $500 later, I found out that my Jack Russell terrier really likes the taste of it. She is fine, but I refuse to allow any more poison on our farm. Instead, we got chickens for pest control. The birds accompany the horses and clean up all the grains on the ground and in the horses’ manure. Their careful gleaning eliminates the source of food for the mice and rats, and now the pests have all but disappeared. The benefit I had not counted on when I added chickens to our farm is that now we no longer have a flea problem. The chickens also help control flies and lawn grubs. I love having the chickens. Not only do they control unwanted pests, but they are fun to watch, too.