Just come in from the garden. We've planted some beans, lettuce, and radishes in the vegetable bed, made up some planters for the street display and finished mulching up the fruit beds with straw and manure. The older kids are taking off wellies and washing hands. I'm just sitting down to nurse my youngest and I get the baby latched on before I answer the phone.
"Is that Starling?"
"Yes it's me."
"We've got an urgent evoke for Tokyo, can you come?"
"It's good timing for us. We had the handover party for the woodland business yesterday. I am sure we fed about two hundred people at the feast - just from the local food, of course. They were glad of the electricity we're producing through the CHP plant to run the dishwashers after that lot. Of course the hothouse veggies are so welcome this time of year as well."
All the local woods are under sustainable woodland management schemes now. Timber for fine crafts and to supply the Biomass CHP plant; sheep, goats and edible fowl descended from chickens run and feed in the woods as well. The blue spot is the biomass plant!"Yeah I didn't get round to saying before, gratz on that award fest you've been having the last few years"
"It's been fun, the people round here love getting involved. We have such great resources here and the kids love being able to make such a big contribution to family welfare.
We'll be ready to leave by eight p.m. GMT and I'll bring the wh*** family - actually I am going to find out if my young cousin can come too, I could do with an extra pair of hands as Lily is so little. Seats for seven please? We'll bring the startup kits so leave room for a crate - we'll bring as many boxes of our new breed of hens as we can pack."
I announce the evoke to the kids and the older ones start packing. I make a few calls to make sure that everything's looked after while we're away. Dh and I get our business startup kit together, all the ingredients we need for our three-layer system. We head out to the woods and catch some of the best of our new breed of chickens. They're robust, they are such good layers and fast breeders. We will be up to our armpits in new chickens in no time.
[Photo credit: H.S.Wong]
[ETA: actually I think it will be best to get others to send the chickens if they are needed after we get there. There may be lots of chickens in Tokyo - the chickens are just one part of my food production system! Fact-finding first.]