For almost all of the previous seven years, I have had at least two hens. I got my first flock in 2011 and am currently on my fourth iteration (with two hens remaining from the third flock).
The chickens are a big part of why the farm is called Libertas Acres. I’m a city child. While both my parents either lived on a farm or worked in some capacity on a farm as children, they had minimal interest in gardening or the outdoors. I want a garden desperately as a child, but my parents (wisely) knew I would not put the effort in to maintain it.
My maternal grandparents had farming roots – it is their land I live on now – and at one point my grandmother said she thought all the “poison” they had sprayed on their fields may have contributed to some of the health problems they had. I was twelve, but it was the first time I had considered anything about my food. Shortly after my father – a banker- mentioned how anytime he would have to go inspect a chicken house or feedlot for a loan would make him want to not eat meat for awhile.
After that, I would occasionally read news articles about how the hormones in milk were linked to an eight year old starting her period. How the antibiotics given to animals were creating antibiotic resistant strains.
In my early twenties, I became obsessed with food. I spent hours researching sustainable and pasture-based farming. I was living in a small apartment at the time and had never grown anything. But I formed the idea of what I wanted out of life – land, a garden, a dog, and livestock.
I wanted a garden that worked nature, not against it. I wanted healthy soil and completely natural tactics. I wanted animals treated with respect, dignity, and I wanted them to have freedom of movement.
My friends have been pressing me for ages to name the farm. It seems a little silly, as I am years away from making any money off this land – if ever – but I realized they were right. I thought about what I wanted out of the farm and how I wanted the name to reflect that.
“Libertas perfundet omnia luce” – Freedom will flood all things with light
Libertas is the Roman goddess of liberty. Nothing seemed to fit my vision for the farm better.