Since it’s a rather slow time of year, we’ve decided to partner up with a well-known, talented artist. My Mom!

She’s offering her hand-painted, 8-inch terra cotta flower pots for sale, in partnership with Collingwood Farm, for $30/each. Perfect for your beautiful spring flowers!

We currently have two “Colorful Hens” pots available.

100_1931

 And two “Pink Flowers” pots available.

100_1933

For sale for local pick-up at our place, only.

email collingwoodfarm@gmail.com if interested!

Thanks,

Linde

We were asked to be in a Solon Times article this week regarding the proposed zoning changes in our city. They wanted us to show off our chickens, since the city is trying to restrict chickens to 2 per household, and until the coyote attack, we had 18. So, we all piled into the coop. I chased a frantic hen around for a while, and then we got this:IMG_1892[1]Not too shabby! Right?!

Then, she pooped in my coat pocket. Oh well, it happens right?

The article is fairly benign, covering both “Sides” of the issue, which include the planning director essentially saying farm animals are bad, and us and our neighbors saying they are not! The weird part is, apparently the planning director, who does not live in our city, has his own farm with chickens and turkeys and what not. Does that strike you as odd, that a guy who wants the right to own these animals himself is trying to restrict our right? Hmmm…

Anyway, the battle is still waging, and it won’t be over until the November ballot I suspect. Until then, if you live in Solon, I implore you to contact your council representative or anyone on the planning commission and give them an earful. It’s the only way they’ll get the message that what we’re doing is GOOD!!

Thanks!

Linde

Well, I haven’t posted a recipe in quite some time. Mostly, because we haven’t had any fresh goodies from our garden (anyone else ready for winter to end?!), and because I haven’t had time/energy. Who knew having a 10 month old and being 5 months pregnant would be tiring?? Huh.

Anyway, yesterday, courtesy of my mother posting this recipe on her facebook page, my pregnancy cravings went a little haywire, and I was compelled to make it. And boy am I glad I did! Full disclosure: I got the recipe straight from Welcome Home blog, so check out the original post. But here is my version:

IMG_1882[1]

Old-Fashioned Vanilla Peach Cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 lb. frozen peaches-I used canned and they worked just fine

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream-I used regular milk
1 tablespoon orange juice-omitted, just because I don’t care for orange in my icing!

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. 

In a medium bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

Add the flour mixture, a little at a time.

Toss the peaches with the remaining ¼ cup of flour.

Pour about 1/3 of your batter into your pan, then add a third of the peaches on top. Repeat again twice, ending with a layer of peaches.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for about an hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Once cooled whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and orange juice. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.

You are WELCOME! Enjoy!

-Linde

If you’ve been following our blog, facebook page, or newsletter, you know at this time last week, we felt under attack. And rightly so. We found out only days before, just by chance, through a cleveland.com article that our farm was in jeopardy because the city has decided to change the zoning laws, seemingly out of nowhere. (As if we aren’t always at jeopardy because of the bugs, deer, coyotes, and constant state of pregnancy by the head farmer. :P) Well, we, as well as nearly a dozen other folks from the city went to a public forum on Tuesday to state our concerns. And luckily, no one had concerns opposing our position, besides, perhaps some on the planning commission.

So, I wanted to give you an update on where we are now.

  • Thankfully, “cultivation of land” is not being prohibited in Solon. It’s not being specifically addressed, it seems, in the paperwork, but per the Planning Director, Rob Frankland, our market garden is safe.
  • The current limitation on chickens is 2 per household  (which we all objected to pretty loud and clearly), UNLESS you already own chickens. So, our 18 (that’s our allowable number since we just recently lost 14 to a coyote attack) chickens are safe. Once the weather breaks, we’ll be replacing them and getting our egg business back up and running (hopefully!)—more on this later.
  • They currently are limiting any farm animal over 30″ at the shoulder, with the exception of horses, mules and ponies. I specifically asked: “What is the difference if I own a mule or a goat?” I didn’t get a straight answer. However, the planning director essentially said these were arbitrary starting points (as I suspected), and that nothing was final.

We didn’t get any straight answers on when any recommended changes might be made. Just a lot of “Nothings final.” and “We want to hear from the residents” Which I was confused by, considering we are the residents. One member also stated “I don’t just want hearsay, I want expert opinion.”-on how many animals should be permitted per property. Which I also didn’t understand since, well, we’re experts since we own the animals, right? And I had just given them articles and contact information for a local person who works at Case Western University and specializes in zoning and planning for animal husbandry and agriculture in the urban area. Regardless, we felt our concerns were heard, and we felt supported by many.

You can read the most recent cleveland.com article HERE, where Rich refers to some Solon residents as animals. (Which was said in jest and everyone laughed. In writing, it doesn’t come across as well. He’s kind of embarrassed as he says “I sound like an old curmudgeon.”)

The goal now is to have residents voice their opinion on how many animals they would tolerate on their neighbor’s property. Should there be restrictions? Should it be based on lot size? Size of the animal? Who knows? These are things they want to hear about. There was a strong support from all our neighbors on Brainard Road. An ENORMOUS “Thank you” to them for coming. And EVERYONE who came. And everyone who wrote letters on our behalf. I get the distinct impression that they were flooded with letters supporting Collingwood Farm. 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

If anyone out there knows of “experts” (i.e. professionals in the agriculture field that could speak to the appropriateness of chickens and other animals in the urban area) I would greatly appreciate their contact information. The more information we get to the planning commission, the more informed their decisions will be.

So, I cautiously say, things are looking up!

Thank you again to you all who support us. We couldn’t do this without you!!

Linde

PS: I don’t believe I mentioned it before, but we’re having another baby! In July! So, we’ll have a 16 month old, and a newborn. So, we might have another slow year farm-wise around here. I’m sure you understand!

Grassroots support

A BEAUTIFULLY articulated letter sent to the council on our behalf. Thank you, Farm Girl in Training!

Farm Girl In Training

Recently, a dear friend and several people she knows began a grassroots effort to shut down a local puppy mill. It all started with pictures posted on Facebook at the beginning of January. Within a month, the dogs were seized and the “owner” (hesitate to use that word) has been charged. I did my part by helping get the word out about these dogs.

Now, I’m trying to do my part again.

Earlier today, I shared a blog post by Collingwood Farm about the proposed zoning changes that would affect them directly. You can read all about it here. In an effort to help them and keep their farm going, here is the letter I sent to their city council members:

Dear Council Members:

I am writing on behalf of Collingwood Farm. I have been informed of the proposed changes to local zoning laws and would like to…

View original post 730 more words

Dear Collingwood Farm Supporter,

I am writing you with desperation. We need your help!

It’s come to my attention recently that the city of Solon, where we reside, is proposing zoning law changes that will essentially shut Collingwood Farm down. In the recently proposed zoning amendments, they are limiting “small farm animals” to two per household. (ie. 2 ducks, 2 chickens, or a duck and a chicken, etc.) They are banning completely any farm animal over 30 inches in height at the shoulder (ie. goats, sheep, pigs) with the exception of horses, mules, and ponies. Why? Not really sure. They are also completely removing any agricultural uses from residential zoning. Which means no more selling of our produce, whether it be on our farm, through our CSA or at farmer’s markets.

With the current proposed chicken restriction, we wouldn’t even have enough eggs to feed our own family, let alone share them with others.

It’s unclear why these changes are being made, as we are not aware of any complaints regarding our farming or chickens, but regardless, they are pushing to make us extinct. And they’re making access to locally grown food for you much harder!

And this is where you come in! They are going to have 3 public forums for residents to voice their concerns. The first is at the Planning Commission meeting next Tuesday at Solon City Hall at 7:30pm. If you live in Solon, we would LOVE to have you there to voice your support for our right to farm, and your right to locally grown food! (Even if it isn’t from us!)

If you aren’t able to make the meeting, or don’t live in Solon, we would greatly appreciate if you could send a letter, or phone the city council to share your experience with locally grown food, why you support local farms, and what your thoughts are on restricting our rights.

You can send a message to city council electronically here:
http://www.solonohio.org/index.aspx?NID=594

Or Send a letter to Mayor Susan Drucker here:
Solon City Hall
34200 Bainbridge Rd, Solon, OH 44139
Phone: 440-349-6740

Planning Commission Meeting at Solon City Hall, Tuesday February 11 at 7:30pm
If you live in Solon and need a ride, please let me know!

You can call us directly at 216-903-2184 with questions.

Any support is SO appreciated. We can’t make change without you! Please help us stop them from putting us out of business, before really even got started!!

Many thanks,

The Collingwood Family

I phoned the city this morning and confirmed that next week, February 11, at 7:30pm, public comment regarding the proposed zoning changes are being accepted following the planning commission meeting.

This will be in the council chambers at Solon City Hall:

34200 Bainbridge Rd, Cleveland, OH 44139

440-248-1155

If you are able please, PLEASE come and support our right to feed our family with our own food!!

If you are unable to attend next week, there will be monthly meetings where public comments are accepted. I will keep you updated.

You can also phone the city council at:

440-349-6740

And share your concerns. Or you can send a message to council members Here.

Even if you aren’t a fan of owning chickens or growing produce for farmer’s markets, the city government has no right to control where our food comes from. This directly impacts my family’s budget, and the way I feed my children. I don’t believe the government belongs in my kitchen! What about you?!

Please contact me at 216-903-2184 if you need a ride to the meeting next week, or need advice on what may be effective in telling the city council. Together we can make a difference!!

Fondly,

Linde