So, You Want to Be an Urban Chicken Farmer? Read This First.

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It's weird. Today I have no appetite at all, and I am seriously considering never eating again, but I have been thinking about nothing but food all day and how we don't think enough about where our food comes from. I mean really comes from. Yesterday when I went home I had a big problem with my wife's maggotometer.

It's not really called a maggotometer. I think it's a Biopod or something. She paid several hundred bucks for it. It's for her backyard chickens. You put garbage in it, and, lo' and behold, it grows maggots. Some French genius invented it. I guess I should call it a maggoteur.

Chickens love maggots. The maggots are supposed to deposit themselves into this little bucket. You pull the bucket out, dump out the maggots for the chickens, and the chickens think it's Christmas dinner. Every morning.

I wound up in charge of operating the maggoteur because, even though my wife bought it and she approves of it and believes in it as a way of recycling everything, she doesn't actually want to touch it.

So, you know: What are husbands for? Recently, however, I had been coming under a little criticism because I wasn't making quota on my maggot crops. She suggested I must be doing something wrong, and, as always, she was right. I hadn't been bleeding off the maggot tea.

The maggots create a liquid, which I guess is maggot shit, and there is a tube on the bottom of the maggoteur by which I was supposed to be draining it off. She says it's called "tea." I know you don't drink it, because it smells like The End Times. Not sure what you do with maggot tea. But I had never even noticed the tube, so the maggot tea had kind of thickened into maggot applesauce.

I couldn't get it to drain. I wound up having to take the whole maggoteur apart, which involved picking it up and slopping the contents into a net we use on the fish pond in order to strain out the maggots. I ended up with a big galvanized tub full of maggot shit, which I had to hump over into the back of the yard, slopping it all down into my socks on the way.

She had said, "Put it where it won't smell bad" before leaving to go to the store. I thought, "I guess I have to take it all the way to hell." I dumped it in a flower bed. It was an act of passive aggression.

Then I had to hose out the maggoteur. Just in case you ever have to do this, be sure before you start hosing to switch the nozzle off the "jet" setting, because you don't want to accidentally spray maggot shit up into your mouth the way I did and then have to struggle with thoughts of suicide.

Anyway, I got it all spruced up and dumped the little fellers back in their house. This morning there was a decent crop waiting for me in the maggot bucket. The chickens were beside themselves.

I just mention this, because really, it's all about food. I used to eat food.

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