Hello,

It’s so nice to be back! So much has changed here at the farm in the short time since we’ve started. Our family went from two to four in 2 years. Our chickens went from 6 to 21, then back to 10. We’ve got two awesome high tunnels awaiting our attention. And we’ve got folks knocking on our door asking when we’ll have CSA shares again. All of these things are WONDERFUL!

2015 will not be the year we re-start our CSA. But we will continue to have eggs available, and hope to have our extra produce listed for sale, when available. Our seedlings are looking terrific.  I hope to have some large, successful crops of the staples. This year I am focusing on restocking our family pantry with home canned goods, since we’ve been rather busy with other things.

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Speaking of other things, our son just turned two! He’s a great little helper around the farm. He loves the chickens!

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Our daughter is nearly 10 months, and is such a joy. We truly are blessed.

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I hope you are all well, and hope to begin making regular updates available to you soon. I encourage you to sign-up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook (a link can be found on our homepage), as I’ll likely utilize these for more regular updates on what’s available to purchase.

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Until the next time!

Linde

Sorry for the lapse in posts folks. After a few hospital stays, Our daughter, Nora, came 5 weeks early on June16. (Over a MONTH ago! How can this be?!)
She had a short stay in the ICU but is home, beautiful and healthy!

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She doesn’t sleep much at night, and my son is only 15 months, so farming has come to a screeching halt. Theres always next season, right?!

Until next time,
-Linde

I am SOOOOO happy to report, we just got word of the most recent zoning code amendments, that will soon head to city council for approval. It looks like they took our concerns seriously. And, although there are restrictions now, when previously there were no restrictions, in regards to agriculture and agricultural animals, we think the restrictions are fair, and well thought-out. Rob Franklin and the planning commission obviously took our suggestions to heart. And we wanted to thank them for that! So,

Thank you Solon Planning Commission for taking us seriously!

We had some doubts and you proved us wrong.

The current recommendations are not final. They have to be approved by the planning commission, and then head to the council, but I’m sure there will be no further detrimental changes to our cause.

A quick summary of the current code amendments include:

  • 3 chickens/10,000 sq ft for a max of 20 chickens, unless you have over 10 acres. (We don’t see a reason to have more than 20 chickens on a property like ours, so we’re cool with it.) They’ve banned roosters, which might have been something we would be interested in the future, but it’s a compromise we’re willing to accept. Roosters can be aggressive, so we understand their thought.
  • 1 goat, sheep, etc. per 1/2 acre, max. of 5, unless you have 10 or more acres. Again, we think this is fair, and won’t affect our long-term plans.
  • They included set-back requirements for animal houses, size limitations for animal housing, etc. All reasonable and understandable, both for respect to the neighbors, and health of the animals.
  • They specifically listed vegetable production as an accepted accessory use.

I’ll keep an eye out for any zingers that might be thrown in as the amendments head to city council, but we are VERY satisfied. That being said, we also owe YOU a huge Thank you! So many of you came to meetings, wrote letters, and made phone calls to support us. It warms my heart, and means more than words can say. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! We would never had such a success with the city if it weren’t for your support.

Viva La Chickens in Solon! 🙂

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Thanks again!

Linde

To be clear, every Mother’s Day I’ve had and will have since duder was born is the best Mother’s Day ever! But, this Mother’s Day, we planted 80 feet of white potatoes in the field and 30 feet of sweet potatoes in the high tunnel. And I’ve already got one handsome little spud! (With another on the way!) Who could ask for more!?! 🙂

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Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mommas. Especially mine!

-Linde

I brought our newest members home yesterday:

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I know for certain we have at least 3 Black australorps (the best egg layers in my experience) and one Light Brahma, in memory of my beloved Fancy Boots. The other 6 are a toss-up. I ordered a “Rare Breed Egg Layer” batch, so we’ll see what we get once they’re a little bigger. How fun! And they sure are cute little devils. 🙂

I’ve also been asked to write an opinion piece for the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the Pro’s of having backyard chickens in the ‘burbs. Flattering,  yet I can’t shake the niggling feeling that I’m opening myself up for some trouble!! Oh well…

In other news, my baby boy turned ONE last month. Can you believe it!?! I get a little choked up thinking about it. He’s so handsome, funny, and smart, just like his daddy.

photo (2)He had one heckuva party, too!! 🙂

We’re just counting down now until our baby girl gets here! 12 more weeks!! I can’t believe that either!

Thanks for checking in!

-Linde

Things are beginning to feel springy around here lately! (FINALLY!) The sun is shining, and the temperature has actually consisted of TWO whole digits most days. I’m starting to feel my spirits lift from the winter doldrums.

As you likely know, we are expecting our second baby, due in July. We had our son last March, so the growing season was difficult to manage. Unfortunately, this year will be even harder. We had a scare last week, and I’ve been told I’m on light-duty. Not bedrest EXACTLY, but, you know, no long walks, strenuous exercise or housework, or even picking up our son. 😦

Not an easy thing to hear when it’s planting season.

Regardless of the short-term difficulties, it will be ALL worth it when we’re holding our new baby. And, its times like these you’re thankful for friends and family. Yesterday, we had some family come help Rich prep the high tunnel beds.

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Adam, Mike, and Rich

Rich said he got weeks worth of work done with their help. So thank you ever so much, guys!!

I, on the other hand, have been undertaking the exciting task of transferring from couch, to chair, to bed, on a fairly regular routine, under the watchful eye of my mother. You’d never guess, but she’s a drill sergeant! (Just kidding mom, love you and thanks so much for staying to help us out!) I did get a reprieve today, and enjoyed some time at my seed-starting table with a little help.

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I didn’t even get 2 whole flats started, which is only a fraction of what we usually have. But, since I’m essentially sidelined for this entire season, I’ve probably started TOO many seeds. I suspect we’ll have some GMO-free pepper and tomato plants available for purchase again this year. I’ll keep you updated.

And, although we’re four months behind, we got our specialty, organic garlic in the ground today. Ok, well, I didn’t. I supervised while Rich did all the work. But, regardless, it’s in the ground, and I’m excited!!

Also, my mom is attempting to teach me to knit. A good way to keep my mind busy, and my tush in the chair, I supposed. Except for the fact that I am NO good at it! So, that being said, if you’re looking for some outside time, we could DEFINITELY use your help at our place this year. If you do a good job, you might be rewarded with a caddywhompus hand-knitted scarf! Or a dozen eggs, but that’s not as fun! 🙂

Let us know!

Linde

We’ve been wondering since the fall what could have possibly taken 14 of our chickens in one night. With no signs at all of a fight, except for piles of feathers scattered over 2 acres of land, we assumed it was a few coyotes. I suspect we were partially right. Because the other day, I heard the strangest sound, in the middle of the day. I looked out the window, and right beside our house, I saw this:

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She stood there and howled and called for a good 10 minutes before I scared her off. There were footprints right down our front sidewalk. Brazen Coyote! Crazy things happen during mating season, I suppose!

BUT! That’s not all!

A few days earlier, I saw our “suspected” bobcat on our driveway again. I hadn’t seen him for a few months. This time he was bigger, and meaner looking. No questions he was a bobcat this time! I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of him. But I did get a picture of his prints, which are ALL over our yard.

034About 2.5 inches top to bottom. Looks like we have a big (hungry!) one!

Naturally, since we lost our flock, we’ve been keeping our remaining girls on lock down. But, we’re planning to get crafty so they’ll be safe, but still able to scratch, peck and forage in fresh grass (without becoming lunch!) once the snow melts.

Anyone have any ideas?

-Linde