Last night I saw a quarter moon indicating we are a quarter into the month of Ramadan.
This morning I began early working in the garden.
I usually attend to our chickens first, eyeing what seemed to be the largest of the flock and weighed nearly six pounds of bird. Well past broiler size I expect this bird to be a roaster at only seven weeks of age.
Earlier this week I received a small container of worms from a River Road neighbor. I’ve been slow to build a worm bin and as a consequence many of the worms gifted to me have died. Hoping to revive their population, I take a plastic storage bin add dirt, food scraps and moisture and hope for the best.
The container plants are growing well although I’m beginning to get concerned that some of the plants aren’t getting the nutrition they need from the soil. I think I’ll add fertilizer to the plants near the time for sunset prayer.
The plants in the raised bed are well and the plant starts I started from seed are beginning to grow strong. One of our potted apple trees are beginning to produce fruit and the currants are producing well even though they could be potted up to a larger container.
Since moving back to the city my family has been slowly building an urban homestead. Among our goals is to catch rainwater, build soil and compost, raise chickens for meat and eggs, bees for pollination and honey, and grow most of our seasonal vegetables.
We currently have four laying hens providing us with about two dozen eggs a week. They were gifted to us by a local farmer downsizing his flock. We also have fifteen broilers we expect to harvest in about four weeks. We’ve been eating fresh greens from our kitchen garden for about two months, and we have a colony of bees we keep in a Warre hive.
Why would a Muslim start homesteading? Our most cherished values are easily expressed through homesteading. Homesteading can increase our appreciation for Allah’s gifts and even awaken the spiritual being within us. Homesteading is a very practical use of time, it helps us meet our essential needs and benefits people and the planet we share.
As we settle this land we call New Medina, where we have named the place we gather to sight new moons, Mt. Hilal, we are humbled to be stewards of this place, designing social structures that support our most essential need, an environment that inspires people to realize their potential as human beings. New Medina exists to give life to our highest aspirations.
Before making hijrah with our actions we should first make hijrah in our hearts. But what is the hijrah of the heart? Is it an exodus from what trespasses our sensibilities? Or is it to embody a holistic framework for our presence in the world? The latter is more comprehensive and the hijrah we aspire to.