Archive for the ‘What’s Happening on the Farm’ Category

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

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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

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Hello All! Apologizes for disappearing for months. Things have been slow around that farm this winter. And our summer harvest was kind of a flop because the deer demolished nearly all of our crops. We also lost 14 chickens in October to what we assume was a coyote, or two. Which leads me to the reason for my post, which is rather urgent in nature, especially for those of my readers whom live in Solon, Ohio.

I just caught wind of this article tonight:

http://www.cleveland.com/solon/index.ssf/2014/01/solon_planning_commission_deba.html

Essentially, Solon planning commission wants to make a bunch of changes to current zoning laws, to go on ballot in November. They had a public forum last Tuesday, which I didn’t go to, because I didn’t know about it!! I read the full details of the proposed zoning code amendments on the city website. Here’s the bullet points that affect us most:

  • They want to limit the number of chickens or ducks permitted to each household to two. TWO! Most places won’t even sell you two chickens. You usually have to buy 6 or more, since they’re, you know, FLOCK ANIMALS!! Two chickens isn’t even enough eggs to supply our family for a week. This is totally arbitrary and unacceptable. There is a note that an “alternative” could be limiting it based on the amount of acreage the household has. That makes more sense, but still is impinging on my freedom for self-sustainability!! Are you outraged with me yet?!?!
  • No animals higher than 30 inches. Horses, cows, pigs, goats, etc. Although, and I quote “This may or may not ultimately be determined to be appropriate for the City, but reflects a growing national trend…” UM YEAH! BECAUSE WE’RE TIRED OF GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATIONS TELLING US WHAT TO EAT!! C’Mon PEOPLE!!

Also, it’s proposed that agricultural zoning of any kind be removed from the books!they really don’t want us to farm!

I find this all disturbing, considering this was presented to the city council in November, not long after the board was presented with our farm operation so we could get a variance for our high tunnels. Hmmmm, wonder who this amendment is aimed at?! We felt supported when we left the council meeting, and have had nothing but support from our friends and neighbors here in Solon. This is like a punch in the guts. Seriously.

If you live in Solon, or even if you don’t, please feel free to reach out the city council. You can find your ward representative and contact them here:

http://www.solonohio.org/index.aspx?NID=594

I’ll keep you posted on any public forums, as I become aware.

As the rest of the area, and country recognize the need for freedom of choice and self sufficiency in our food systems, and are becoming more lenient in their laws, here we are, already established farmers getting our freedoms revoked.

Please support us by contacting the council or attending meetings. It’s time the little guys stop getting trampled!

Much love,

Linde

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Readers, friends, and fellow farmers, what a summer it has been! If you’ve never worked full time, had a newborn, and attempted to get a new farm afloat, well you just haven’t lived! Take it from me, it brings the word exhaustion a whole new meaning. But, it’s most definitely worth it.

There have been so many things happen, and so many things more we want to do. The summer is just flying by, and one of the things that’s had to go by the wayside is our blogging. So I’d like to give you an update. Because of lack in mental gumption, I’ll use pictures to do the talking. Enjoy!

081 077 076 073 071 070 064 052 049 047 042 037 013 003 002Until next time!

-Linde

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033Rich is working on the coop for our new girls. Big reveal soon! 031 032 034

The high tunnels are almost complete!028Our garden is looking tasty!

024We have lots of delicious greens available!

-Linde

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005 CSA Week 2:

  • English Breakfast Radishes
  • Easter Egg Radishes
  • Green Onions
  • Chives
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Mustard Greens
  • Mixed Baby Greens
  • Snow Peas

Tomato Plant Sale Blow-Out!

We have some odds and ends tomato plants. They’re beautiful, and headed to the compost bin if we don’t have any takers! I’ll give them to you for $1.00! (Remember, they’re heirloom, and chemical free!) You can’t beat that deal!

Be sure to check our “For Sale” tab! We have other goodies!

And a special THANK YOU!:

To my sister-in-law, and new volunteer farm hand, Anne, who has done an AWESOME job weeding, now that I’m back at work, and falling behind… 🙂 Thank you ANNE!

(She also makes some MEAN salmon!!)

001

And just for fun…

015🙂

-Linde

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This weekend has been warm, dry and beautiful. Perfect for getting our warm weather crops in the ground. But, things were a little crazy around the farm, too! Read on…

When we got to work, everyone was laying down on the job.

011

001

We even found the supervisor sleeping….again.

012

Birdie was the only helpful one, feverishly collecting dandelion seeds before they spread to the garden.

004

Unfortunately, Farmer Rich offended her by something he said, so she stormed off.

022

Then, as I was attempting to collect eggs, I ran into a turf war! Fancy “The Boots” was not please that Greta “No Thumbs” was occupying her territory. Yikes!  I didn’t stick around to see how it ended… 014

Despite the shenanigans, we managed to get our peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes planted. We have another bed prepped for our squash and pumpkins, to be planted later this week.

023

It’s shaping up to be a good season!

-Linde

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