Looking on the Bright Side
I hope you enjoyed the story of
the farm cats. Iím sure
enjoying having these 3 little rascals around my office, but soon they
should be all cleared by the vet and ready to go outside to romp around
the farm and hang out in the shop at night.
Itís good to have cats in the shop because organic
soil amendments left unattended for very long periods of time out in the
open, can be subject to curious rodentsí teethÖ..
Eve staying in the shop at night, generally eliminated this issue. With
her now being retired, cotton meal has become, shall we say, mouse meal.
However, I suspect when Tigger, Toro, and Minnie move
out there, rodents will once again, find other places to investigate.
Unfortunately, I donít think theyíd have been
much match for the two-legged type of rodents that recently broke into the
shop, one of the barns, and a couple of weeks before, into the irrigation
storage boxes out by the pond in the gardens.
Iím sorry to say that they helped themselves to
whatever wasnít bolted down, basically. Using one of our deep welled,
plastic wheelbarrows this time, and a 55 gallon plastic barrel the first
go-round, they hauled off a toolbox full of screwdrivers, hacksaws, and
all of those cool assorted nails, screws, nuts and bolts and gadgets one
accumulates in the bottom of their toolbox over the years, the air
compressor, power inverter, some cash (change from our cash register), bb
gun, small chainsaw, which had been gifted to us previously, miscellaneous
hand tools, and who knows what else they saw laying around that Iíve not
figured out is missing yet. I went to feed Bear and Molly that morning and
Iíll be darned if they didnít even take their food bowls! (I guess
stainless steel pet bowls are a hot item?)
Isnít that how it goes though? You walk past things
day after day and forget theyíre even there, till you go to need something
and remember where you last saw it. I admit, I have about three places
where I keep various tools, based on where I generally need them the most,
and everything doesnít always get put back exactly where I meant to put
it. But I think thatís probably a good thing, or weíd have been totally
cleaned out of power tools, too!
All said, in the twelve years or so that Iíve had
this place, itís only the 2nd time Iíve experienced this sort
of violation. I suppose times are tough for a lot of people and theyíre
doing what they feel they need to do, to survive. I wish theyíd have taken
eggs and milk or something, though. Feeding themselves a good meal would
likely have been better than whatever they got for what they stole.
We have had to scale back everything we keep out at
the yurt as a result of the first time thieves visited the less visible
part of the farm, when my friends Matt and Jess were running things out
there. They took personal belongings of theirs at the time, then later,
came back and took surveillance cameras down, since they were not
operational any more. (Next time, Iíll be looking for solar powered
surveillance cameras for back there.)
we set up our solar power and wood burning stove, we hope to host private
dinners, more classes, and reinstate our off-grid homestead exhibit for
our farm tours. Itís just been too much for me to manage keeping two
homesteads going! Even one that no one actually lives in.
But Iím determined not to be discouraged or scared
off. My veteran buddies from F.A.R.M. have been in touch, one has even
been out here tracking in the wooded areas, and Iím pretty sure this is an
The old horse fencing around the farm isn't dog
proof, so suggestions for "watch dogs", or even letting Bear and Molly
patrol at night, isn't really an option. This urban farm is too close to
the freeway and is located on a pretty busy street. Channel locks and
hacksaws can be replaced.
Bear and Molly are too precious to me to risk escaping or accidentally
being let out by a would-be thief fleeing as they were chased down by two
giant white dogs in the night. (Although, the chase might make for a
revenue generating youtube video....)
I wish I had cheerier news on the weather front.
forgotten how to rain since last spring. We have only had a tiny bit, as
in less than an inch total, since the first week of July. I am
afraid with all of the excessive, and heavy, rain of this past spring,
some of the pond depth I gained by having it dredged a few years ago, was
lost due to run-off. Iíve scooped some of the silt up to use in compost
piles, as it is full of nutrients and organic matter; but we now have a
giant sandbar in the middle of the pond Ė separating the deeper side from
the shallower side. Many of the small cat fish perished, the tadpoles are
trapped in the one side with the minnows and only the frogs and turtles
are crossing over to the other side. We really, really need a good
downpour. About 2 inches all at once would get the pond back up and
running Ė and allow me to irrigate again, too.
the trouble with relying solely on natural water sources; you are also at
Natureís mercyÖ. But Iím sure it will rain here again Ė theyíre actually
calling for a pretty good chance again this weekend. I have started many
seeds in flats, and ordered some of the cool season specialties from an
organic grower out in CA. As soon as there is the ability to irrigate with
our drip system again,
Iíll get back to planting. In the meantime, it took me all of three hours
to hand water arugula, spinach-mustard, cucumbers and summer squash, using
empty gallon jugs and a watering can Ė and the wheelbarrow that we no
longer have. Iím strongly considering moving, "digging a well", up on the
priority list, just so Iím not ever in this position again.
As a very bright spot to some of this ďDebbie
downerĒ news, folks just like you have rallied around the farmís needs Ė
once again Ė and pledged extras of things to help replace what was taken!
Iím so grateful and happy to share this news.
have a deep welled metal wheelbarrow coming, from our friends building a
tiny house Ė when youíre downsizing, I suppose a full sized wheelbarrow
might take up a bit too much precious space! It's going to look great in a
new coat of hot pink paint!
Plus, I received a personal sized toolbox full of all
sorts of goodies, and a extra bb gun he wasn't using, from our guest
farmer A.L., who himself had a few hand tools taken out of his storage
stall here in the barn; and even an extra chain saw is on the way Ė after
the mechanic looks it over, from our farmer friend
Bev, out in Weatherford.
I was urged to put together a
wish list on
Amazon from some of our Facebook farm fans, so they could help replace
what was taken. I also took the liberty to put on there a few of the items
they suggested that might help deter future prowlers, like more lighting,
security cameras, and an etcher. Iím also going to be painting the farm
name on some things Ė in bright PINK!
And for more good news; many of you may have
participated in yesterdayís North Texas Giving Day. The two organizations
that have been vital in helping me with the sudden population explosion of
feral cats here, Cat Matchers
and Feral Friends, because of
the special event, received double of the $100 we had collected so far, to
help reimburse them for all of the vet bills theyíve taken care of for the
kitties I've rescued/trapped. Plus, thanks to a very giving public, they
raised much more through yesterdays event! It's a never ending need with
all of the stray, lost and abandoned cats, but every little bit helps.
Iíll continue to leave out the donation bucket at
Market Days for the Itty Bitty Kitty Fixin Fund and split the monies we
receive between the two groups. Donít forget, weíre still
looking for two names for the remaining farm
kittens; Tigger and Toroís brother and sister. $2 donation per suggested
name - winner will be drawn soon!
So, the moral of this blog entry can be, Toro agrees,
that no matter how sorry, low and sad people or situations can be
sometimes, itís always a pleasant reminder that the good outweighs the bad
Ė and love wins in the end! J
Thank you for supporting this small, urban farm and
all that I strive to do through it for the community! We do expect to have
a fall harvest, albeit it may be a little later than we hoped, and
CSA shares, beginning with fall or winter/spring
season, are still available.
I couldnít ever do it alone. And Iím glad I donít
feel like I have to try to do it alone either. We're all in this together!
Eat Your Food - Naturally!