For the last several months, I have been working with my community HOA board of advisors to change our chicken rules which only allowed for 10 chickens per property. Keep in mind that this is a very rural community (15 miles from a small town) and those owning anything over one acre to 30 acres, could only have 10 chickens.
On Saturday, the HOA approved a change allowing an additional 5 chickens per half acre up to 50 chickens! I can't tell you how thrilled I am and what an accomplishment this is for our community. You see, most people thought our board was unapproachable about changes, but I have to tell you that it passed without any further discussion than the initial proposal. Mostly because I got a petition and had as many homeowners as possible sign it.
I want to encourage you that you CAN make a difference in your community. Most boards, including mine, want to do what the PEOPLE want. But if they don't know and don't hear from you in mass, they won't move on anything like increasing the chicken count per property. You may not succeed the first time, but you can keep trying. I had already prepared myself for it NOT to pass and my next proposal was already brewing in my mind. Thankfully, I can rest easy tonight, knowing that our board heard our voices.
Update (7/18/11): I just want to add that Tanya Williams of Shelf Reliance Preparedness Pantry was my co-laborer on this effort! Thanks, Tanya!
Another exciting thing I wanted to share with you has to do with my local community homesteading group. We don't get together very often because, as you can imagine, we're all so busy tending animals, gardens, and children.
Most of the time we communicate daily through a Google Group on the computer. However, our goal is to get together roughly four times a year. And since it had been a while, we all gathered for a potluck this past Wednesday night. We spent our time visiting, trading ideas, letting the kids play outside, and then we watched a few sections of Marjory Wildcraft's Backyard Food Production. We had so much fun and wanted to watch more of the DVD that we decided to meet again this coming week for a second gathering.
We'll probably try to get together in the fall for another time of fellowship and sharing. How about your group? Have you found like-minded homesteaders in your area? And have you connected with them? Did you come up with a method of staying in touch on a regular basis? Homesteaders need each other for so many things! (If this concept is new to you, be sure to read my post Building A Homesteading Community). Be sure to share in the comments section any ideas you have from your own homesteading group!