A zen state of mind…

I’m on vacation revisiting what a state of relaxation is all about.  Henry’s got two lady friends who happen to be in the desert  Spring Breaking at the same time so is off on a shopping, lunch and swim date. This means  I’m allowed to use my very own laptop for a few minutes.  I think it’s actually been quite healthy that its been commandeered  I’ve done, with much success not much of anything besides ordering ice tea in the last hour.

What did catch my attention is that our San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a proposal regarding urban agriculture zoning that makes it easier for urban farmers not only to farm but ends the permitting nightmare for selling one’s produce.  We join, I believe Detroit and Seattle in making things less of a hassle. As someone whose name starts with an “M” who did a bit of time would say,  “It’s a good thing.”

Palm Springs

Here’s a link to an article about the zoning,  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/07/EDQA1IS8CB.DTL

Bring out the crime scene tape…

We lost one of our Silver Laced Wyandotte’s sometime during the night. It’s our first, but probably not last death.   I’d long ago stopped doing a head count when latching our coop as the girls truly put themselves to bed around dusk.  This was after orating on this virtuous trait of the bird yesterday to friends Jay and Anna who are going to be chicken, rabbit and dog sitting so I can leave town and regain some semblance of a sense of humor. A scattering of feathers triggered my peaking over the edge of the planter box and it was a grisly sight.  Naturally I want to share.

Thankfully I’d fortified myself with half a cup of coffee as opposed to fortified coffee before this headless discovery.  And yes, I’m keeping the feet.

Friday the 18th…

The butchering of chickens and other forms of protein happens all of the time, by individual hand and factory.  It’s an ordinariness that never loses its unease.  Picking up your protein from a local butcher does however take the edge off.

What I wonder about is, when it took two urban farmers plus one 5th grade farmhand all day to butcher, prep,  make stew and stock from two hens how anybody had time for the quilting, sewing and woodworking.  Hell, even just splitting wood for a fire seems like it would go by the wayside.

post butchering cleanup

Carrie

remains of the day

Rosemary's Baby

“We all go a little mad sometime.”  Psycho

Who they are, what they look like and where to find them…

"What an Urban Farmer Looks Like" New York Magazine

New York Magazine’s recent article “What an Urban Farmer Looks Like” written by Joshua David Stein includes a classically stunning series of black and white portraits featuring some of the state’s urban farmers. The photographs were shot by Andreas Laszlo Konrath. Track them down in person with the farm map, website links provided.

http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/68297/

Shimin noen? Hai…

I’m connecting you with a blog post about the popularity of “shimin noen” or city farming in Japan.  Part of it’s due to the high number of baby boomers who are retirement age and able to shift the focus of what they are doing during the day.  It’s also is apparent that the topic of eco consumerism has had much play in the media just like right here at home.

http://www.japantrends.com/city-farming-blooms-with-baby-boomers/

Richmond hookup…

Sasquatch, Don King and Baby Jesus

Hooked up with this menage a trois at Garden Girl Farm and they came home with me last night.  Sasquatch is a lovely rabbit as is her offspring Baby Jesus who is looking like a boy as we were checking out his bits while he calmly gave us his “whatever” look.   Don King, part of the mess of a duck shipment has issues and is being picked on by his flock so is joining our flock of four  less than able ducks.  Cassie loves these two bunnies but is going to be focusing on raising an uber form of rabbit hence the move.  Big Daddy, a handsome black male will be joining us as well so Baby Jesus could be joined by siblings.  Two required classes in my Catholic all girls High School aka San Domenico were “Old Testament” followed the next year by not surprisingly “New Testament”.  I bring this up only because I’m going to have to utilize some creative license in the lineage not that my recall of either classes material is spectacular.

Coop update….

Really, I was having fun

The awkward adolescents spent their first night in the so tight nothing will get into it chicken coop.   The coop is near my outside bedroom wall so I kept thinking I was hearing things, like things on the roof of the coop.  Glancing at Momo, my Akita as she was snoozing bedside without any “I hear something I’d like to eat.” look on her face confirmed that it was just my overactive imagination.

The finished coop pre straw and chicks

I brought the nesting boxes fabricated out of wood scraps with me to Garden Girl Farm in Richmond.  Once there Cassie’s “minions” as she terms it helped me out with some custom paint jobs.  Let me make it clear that when I get half of the word “chore” out of my mouth at home Henry has vanished.  With Cassie all I hear  is “What can we do now?”

The minions hard at work painting the exterior of our nesting boxes

An exterior view of the coop

Don King lives in Richmond…

Surf Camp for Henry and three of his friends has come to a crashing halt.  It’s not due to shark sightings or a glassy ocean but the looming responsibilities (my theory) of their coach.  He’s a nice guy, thirty six with a girlfriend who’s pregnant.  In lieu of wetsuits and boards these guys have been helping out at Garden Girl Farm here and there.

The view of the highway and Chevron refinery from the deck of Garden Girl Farm

Don King

This past week Cassie’s ducks from Ideal Hatchery arrived and they were far from.  While there appear to be happy customers on their website this was not Garden Girl Farm’s experience.  She had ordered a straight run (males and females) of Peking ducks.  Out of the 20 ducklings that arrived four were deformed,  three have neurological issues (one runs in a circle), one is missing an eye and nine are crested.  We have four of the “retards” which is Henry’s unfortunate choice of word at our house as they were being picked on by their peers.

Elsewhere around the farm Sasquatch after pulling out bunches of belly fur and making a nest with the fluff gave birth to two kits.  Sadly she sat on  one of them and it died.  The remaining kit is thriving, here held by Freddy.

Baby bunny

The boys while taking a post lunch break hung around with Big Gay Al hoping he would make a turkey move on them despite the warning that they would end up scratched.  They finally got bored as he was not showing any interest in any of them.  Which reminds me, there are also a couple of turkey chicks born about a week ago (Al’s the dad)  and a new group of one day old chicks.  Just another day around the farm!

A few of the one day old chicks

Misha with Big Gay Al in the background

Goose with Big Gay Al