Monday, June 25, 2012

Community Garden


The Reluctant Farmer with the Garden Claw!  World's most amazing invention.....

Last year a local nursery in our town hosted a community garden.  The gentleman at the nursery who started this project had been to Europe and brought back this community gardening idea with him.  They alloted 25 garden plots to individuals who wished to try their hand at gardening.  Included with the plot were the seeds, plants, fertilizers, and anything else you might need in order to garden.  The best part?  All of this was free!  It was quite a blessing to have been given such a gift, and it was quite the success!  We had a plot last year that we shared with our neighbors, and raised cucumbers, tomatoes, and a few other veggies.   We learned a lot (Use weed mat being the most important piece of information that we took home with us!), and were excited to try another garden this year!

The Urban Farmer laying weed mat.  I will NOT be over taken by weed s this year!

Due to a windstorm that knocked our seedlings out, we decided we would buy a few plants that were already started and then plant some corn from seed.  We also brought with us two mystery plants.  (Out of the hundred different seedlings these were the only two that made it through the carnage of wind and upheaval.....)  

One of the two lonely survivors.....

Our corn at 7 days old.  This was seed when I planted it 7 days ago!

We will continue to post picture of our little garden so that you can see our process.  Happy gardening friends!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ronald has been captured!

Tonight we went back to McDonald's to see if we could locate Ronald.  We pulled in and there he was playing happily with a stick in the parking lot.  We got out and tried to coax him to us, but of course he was having no part of that!  I went in and bought a hamburger with the hope I could lure the kitten to me.  I ripped off small pieces of the hamburger and threw them close to Ronald, who inhaled them because he was starving.  (It wasn't until I was up so close to him that I realized just how thin he was!)  I just kept throwing the hamburger to him in small pieces until he was close enough that I could quickly scruff him and place him in the live trap.     

My prize!  

Scared little kitty....

It did not take Ronald long to figure out that we humans were okay!  With a full belly and lots of ear scratches Ronald has discovered he enjoys being a captive kitten.   We were also surprised to figure out that Ronald is really a Birdie!  (We were limited on girl names for McDonald's characters!)

Sadly, the girl who said she would take Birdie was unable to do so after we caught her, so home she came back to Rainbow Acres where she will be cared for until a home is found for her.  If a home can't be found for Birdie then we will have to take her to the shelter, but I figure being euthanized is more humane than being run over by a car.  If anyone is looking for a kitten we would be more than happy to have Birdie spayed and vaccinated for you!  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

the elusive ronald

Yesterday I noticed a small kitten hanging out in our local McDonald's parking lot.  He looked to be about 7 weeks old and as black and shiny as a piece of onyx.  He was in the grassy median of the parking lot frolicking about having a great time.  I sat in my car for a bit laughing at his kitten antics.  I watched him leap about: catching bugs, chasing his tail, and sometimes just curiously watching other guests as they went in and out of McDonald's.  I tried to coax him to me with the hope I could catch him, but as soon as I approached him he took off like his tail was on fire!  

I went to work but thought about the little kitten all day.  It wasn't the fact that he was a stray kitten that was bothering me.  In fact of he was in a safe place I would have just left him alone.  The part that bothered me was that he was a stray kitten living in a median between a McDonald's parking lot and a bust highway.  It is only a matter of time until he becomes a "road pizza" if he doesn't have a little human intervention.

Well, I went back this morning to see if he was still there, and if course there he was.  Sitting under a car watching the people of McDonald's go about their day.  I questioned the lady at the drive-thru window about the kitten and she agreed that the kitten did need to be caught and mentioned that a girl working there wanted to adopt him if he could be captured.  I asked them not to feed the kitten today so he would be hungry when I returned.  

I will intervene later tonight.  Armed with a  box trap and a can of tuna.

I will call him Ronald.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bedlam Farm - Meeting Jon and Maria

Several years ago I went through a very dark time in my life, and there were times that getting up in the morning hurt me mentally and emotionally.  During that time I was reading a book by Jon Katz and stumbled upon his blog.  I read it daily, and fell in love with his farm.  There were times that what he wrote spoke to me and many of mornings they were the only reason I got out of bed.  I still read his blog every morning ( , as well as his wife Maria's blog  (

I knew I was coming to Jenna's workshop this weekend, and I knew that while I was there I had to drive past Bedlam Farm.  My intention was to only get a picture of the farm, and the view that he describes in his writing.  We drove past and stopped at the end of his driveway so I could get my pictures when his dog Frieda started barking.  Of course, I did not want to intrude or bother Jon or Maria so I waved and we quickly drove off.  We got several houses up the road when Solitare mentioned that we should turn around and photograph some waterfalls that we passed on our way to the farm.  I agreed that it wouldn't hurt to turn around, but asked her to please not slow down in front of the house this time because I did not want to bother  them.  

I was taking pictures of the waterfall when I turned around, and there were Maria and Jon walking towards me!  I explained to them that we were in town for Jenna's workshop and I had to drive by Bedlam Farm.  I was bit shy when talking with them and even more so when they graciously invited us back to their farm so I could take more pictures and meet the animals!

We went back to Bedlam Farm and were greeted by Mother and Minnie, and then Jon and Maria introduced us to Simon and the rest of the donkeys.  We also loved on Lenore, the "Hound of Love".  (I honestly thought Solitare might never leave their driveway!)  Lenore is cute in her pictures on the blog, but even cuter when you are scratching her butt!  It just made my heart happy to tell Jon how much his writing and work meant to me.  This was the perfect end to a great weekend, and I am so happy that I was able to meet Jon, Maria, and Jenna today.  I am exhausted tonight folks, and must get to bed.  I promise I will post pictures and write about the chicken workshop tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2012

2 chicks with 10 chicks take New York: Part 1

In my quest to be a well rounded urban farmer, I signed up to attend a workshop that Jenna Woginrich is hosting at her farm in upstate New York.  ( For those of you not familiar with Jenna, please check out her blog and books at )  I read her blog daily, love her books, and frankly I find her determination and moxie refreshing.  She is living the life I want to live, but am too chicken (no pun intended...) to just yet....  The workshop that I signed up for is a workshop on raising chickens from day 1 to the dinner table.  As part of the workshop, each person gets to take home 5 chicks to raise for their table.  I have been super excited about this for weeks!  Of course the Reluctant Farmer has come along with me on this grand adventure, but in her usual fashion: reluctantly.  

So before we leave Ohio, Reluctant Farmer asks me: "Have you made reservations for a campground or hotel yet?!"  (She has been reminding me to do this for weeks, and I have procrastinated of course....)  I reassured her that all would be well, and the reservations would be made as soon as possible.  Turns out Reluctant Farmer had good reason to be stressed.  It is hard to find a hotel that will accept pets.  It is even harder to find a hotel that will allow you to room with 10 chickens!  

I spent all of my lunch break and most of the evening Thursday calling around to various hotels and bed & breakfast establishments with no luck.  As soon as they ask you what kind of pet you are traveling with and you mumble chickens there is a long pause and quickly they realize the vacant rooms have all been filled.  (This is the nice response.  One hotel just hung up on me!)  After searching every hotel in a 100 mile radius and coming up empty handed, I decided that I would just tell the hotel that I had a dog.  I fully intend on sneaking these chickens through the backdoor tomorrow.  Wait until they get a load of this room!  It is one thing to sneak some chickens into a Super 8, and a whole other ballgame when you are sneaking them into a 5 star hotel.  

I have a feeling that the chickens will be very happy with all of the effort I have put into securing this posh hotel room for them.  Pictures of the babies to follow....

The unsuspecting hotel room.  Rumor has it, chickens love olive green with chocolate accents!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

my reinvented life...

I wake up in a groggy haze.  My pillow and hair soaked from a sweaty nights sleep.  It is so muggy in my bedroom.  Usually the moon brings a refuge from the blazing sun, but not this morning.  I am tired.  I feel as if I work harder at home then I do at the hospital now days, and I kick myself for not going to bed earlier.  I pull on a dirty pair of jeans, a t-shirt, my muddy boots, and shuffle out to the garage.  When I open the door I am greeted by the rustling sound of bunnies and chickens excited for their morning rations of fresh veggies, pellets, and hay.  After feeding and watering the chickens and rabbits I go back outside to water my gardens.  I lug around the water hose which I swear feels like it is filled with lead this morning!  I stand there on my little piece of paradise just thinking about my life and being present in this moment.  It is so quiet out here.  Only the songs and chatter of the birds accompany me on this morning, and it's as if the Earth has given me a personal invitation to a symphony!  It is then that I realize, even though I am tired, my body is truly rejuvenated because somewhere on this little patch of land I have found myself again, and I like the new me....

Monday, June 11, 2012

we have babies!


9 days old and so cute!

This week I am pleased to announce: we have French Angora babies!  I feel like I can talk about them now because they were 2 weeks old on Thursday.  (It makes me nervous to talk about kits too early since they are sometimes very fragile.)  Our French Angoras (Wooly Wilma and Reese) both gave birth 2 weeks ago.  Wilma has 5 kits and Reese has 3.  We have a variety of colors including: black, fawn, orange, blue, and tort.  I can't wait to harvest wool from these bunnies, as they are a rainbow of colors!  As of right now I don't know what I am keeping, but I think I have fallen in love with each one of them!  I will try to add weekly pictures of these babies, because the only things that grow as fast as baby chicks are rabbits.  They change so quickly and boy howdy are they cute!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

life is hard, death is harder

On Sunday, one of our rabbits gave birth to a single kit.  She didn't pull hair or make a nest.  She didn't get her milk in.  (I can feel that there are other kits in there, but so far she has not had anymore babies and the vet said there is really nothing that can be done except wait.)  My plan was to separate this little guy from the doe since she didn't want anything to do with him yet, wait for her to kindle the other kits and then put him back in with the rest of the litter.  I had been having one of the Angora does, Wooly Wilma, foster and feed him.  Things were looking okay, I thought....

We went out tonight to check on him and he was not doing well.  He was crying and he was cold.  I knew there wasn't much that we could do for him.  We tried to warm him up, we talked to him, prayed he would have a peaceful journey, and waited.  It wasn't long until he passed away in Katzya's hands.  I don't question why he died because I know that all life means death, the question is always: when?  Evidently he wasn't meant for this Earth right now.  

The hard part is looking back and wondering, did I do something wrong? Could I have done something different to save this one?  The hardest part though is looking at the tears streaming down your child's face as she tells her little friend goodbye.  Sometimes life is hard on a farm, but death is even harder.

Monday, June 4, 2012

spreading the joy


For me the greatest way to enjoy a hobby is to share it with someone else.  My friends Christie and Brent, had been talking about getting chickens for nearly as long as I had.  Well, maybe Christie had been talking about getting chickens for as long as I had.  Poor Brent is sometimes just the labor behind the dreams and schemes that we ladies come up with.  (He is a great sport!)  This was the year to make the jump to chicken farming at the Remy household.  

I purchased enough chicks for us each to have a dozen chickens this year and raised them in a brooder in my garage while the Remys finished their coop.  Check out that coop!  Isn't it great?!  I have some serious coop envy!  Brent scored this shed from a neighbor who had just moved in to an old farmhouse down the road and wasn't going to use it for anything.  It is perfect for their chickens.  He also fenced in a large area for the chickens to peck and putter around in so they are able to scratch and eat bugs to their hearts content.


I took their flock over to the on Sunday night and they kept them inside until the next Saturday, just to make sure they associated their new surroundings as "home".  At first they were very leery of their new domain but they have since adapted brilliantly and Christie said they have inspected all of their exercise yard thoroughly.

It is such a great feeling when you are able to share something that you are so passionate about.  I can't wait for that telephone call saying one of their hens just laid it's first egg.  It's such a feeling of accomplishment knowing you nurtured and raised the beasts that bless you with food.  It's a feeling only comparable to the feeling you get when you are able to teach someone else to do the same.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

beautiful weekend = happy dogs

Sun bathing!  They need a cabana boy!

Ziggy soaking up the rays!

It was such a beautiful weekend, but I grounded myself to the indoors for an intense cleaning session.  We have been running so much lately with horse shows and other things that I was actually looking forward to staying home this weekend and cleaning.  The dogs were happy because the temperature was nice enough that we didn't have to run the central air, and they were free to run in and out of the house as they wished.  They love when the backdoor is open and they can just wander around.  The deck is definitely a preferred place to lounge and soak up the sun!