Posts Tagged ‘farm’

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!

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,

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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 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 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!!


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!

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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!


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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!


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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!!)


And just for fun…



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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.



We even found the supervisor sleeping….again.


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


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


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.


It’s shaping up to be a good season!


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This is a question we’ve been asked a lot lately. With our baby just 7 weeks old, and both Rich and I working “real” jobs, people wonder how we do our farm gig as well. I know there are lots of you out there that are just as busy, just maybe with different interests. And like everyone else, we make it work, because we love it. So, to give you a glimpse of a typical day, here is how we do it:

After work, we make dinner, then run outside and do our chores until it’s too dark to see. We come in, bath time for baby boy, and off to bed. Repeat.



But without a doubt, this is my favorite part of the day. And we can’t wait until this is our “real job”.



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