So you wanna establish a bucolic urban farm in the midwest?

Well, you might think again. It’s not all roses. In fact, these past few days remind me very much of what we’re all going through who have planets in the 18-23° area of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, now activated, big time, by transit Mars in Cancer opposing transit Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn. Wheeee!

Actually, it all started out well. Our Green Acres Village friend and longtime weekly visitor Annie had wanted us to do weekly Community Dinner at her place, and make it a special outing too. So, Thursday, June 13th was established as the big day. Those intrepid enough to go would all drive fifty minutes to the parking lot in tiny, picturesque Story Indiana, and then carpool to the trailhead leading uphill to the Indiana Stonehenge, on top of Browning Mountain, a very mysterious place, full of spirits. It reminds me of other strange places with structures including giant rocks and stones in Peru, Egypt, Honduras, and other countries where I have sat puzzled, sometimes for hours, wondering who made this place, and how, and why? And how long ago?

While up there we debated, would we ever like to spend the night? Not sure, frankly.

Here’s Annie, with James, another pianist and friend of podmate Andreas, who joined us on the trek and stayed for dinner, too.

And here’s the intrepid bunch of us afterwards, eight altogether, including puppy Shadow. Annie took the photo, so not in the picture.

Then, another drive, back to the cars, then out to Annie’s remote place, on a high ridge with a nearby pond. Very beautiful. Would be a spectacular place to watch night skies for ufos! Here, Rebecca and Andreas joined us, as did two of Annie’s neighbors, for a dinner with grilled pork and chicken and all the fixings, plus a terrific fire.

Okay, here’s where the tale turns dark . . .

That night, Dan and I couldn’t find the baby (adolescent) chicks. Five of ’em. Where are they? We had already lost two chicks out of eight to unknown marauders, and sure didn’t want to lose any more. But Tuesday night Dan had found another dead chick, this one in the coop. So three gone out of eight.

Then Rebecca arrived home, and joined us in the search. She’s smarter about chickens, decided to wave a pole around in the thickly leafed out back yard trees. And there they were, up in the tree! Whew! Babies saved.

The darkness gave way to sunlight the next day, when friend Kate came over to harvest motherwort. Why motherwort? Because, every time former podmate Logan’s band Plateau Below went on the road, Kate, who has been the band’s drummer, would drag along the motherwort tincture she had made to help with their anxiety. Kate also made the pants she’s wearing in these photos. What a gal! Now she’s going into a doctoral program at the University of Chicago in “cognitive sciences,” well aware that whatever she learns there can be used for good or evil. She’s viewing it as an experiment and might not stay. I told her to remember that she could become an astrologer instead, since it too, deals with the human psyche.

We will miss her!

Then, the darkness returned, that very night, when another chick disappeared, and Rebecca discovered, was also partially eaten. How did that happen? The first one had gotten under the fence. But this one? And the second one? We had fixed the fence.

Rebecca figured it’s holes that some kind of rodent made under the walls of the chicken shed. (But we realized later, it could also be that open window on the second floor of the chicken shed that we need to cover with some kind of mesh.) In any case, she texted everybody to see who could help her cement in the holes in the early morning. Justin and Dan both agreed. Here they are, all decked out for the job at 8:30 AM.

 

 

Then yesterday evening around 6:30, a tornado warning “for Monroe County.” Oops! Those who were home gathered the two cats and three dogs and went down into the Overhill basement, cranking up the wind-up radio for updates.

My sister Kristin, who was here a week ago, wondered about tornadoes in the midwest. I had waved off her concerns. So of course, I texted her:

We were down there about an hour. This morning:

Finally, just as I am completing this blogpost, Rebecca comes in. Another chick, gone! We have now lost four out of eight chicks, and will have to put them in the greenhouse from now on until they are big enough not to be rodent food.

Can you imagine what it must be like to be one of those chicks, knowing that anytime now, in the middle of the night, something furry will come and snatch one of them?

Rebecca: “This morning I’m just sick to my stomach.”

So yes, so you might think twice about establishing a bucolic Urban Farm in the Midwest!

Oh yes, and one more thing: both Dan and I are covered with chigger bites on our legs. From our trip to the Indiana Dunes? We’re not sure, but will have to find that sulfur sock to beat against our legs when we go outside.

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4 Responses to So you wanna establish a bucolic urban farm in the midwest?

  1. Brie says:

    Maybe i Missed something but – When did you go to the Dunes??
    Dan had long been talking about that “stonehenge spot”
    In Peru, big sacred gathering of rocks are called Huacas…you’ll often see them in piles on roads/caminos
    Those pictures of Dan and Kate are precious.
    Hello friends!
    And poor chicks 🙁 But, y’know, their energy was NOT wasted

    • Ann Kreilkamp says:

      We didn’t go to the Indiana Dunes (though I was there a few years ago), but to the Indiana Stonehenge; it’s south of here, near Story, on Browning Mountain. And yes, hello Brie!

  2. Susan Cudmore says:

    Eek! A weasel? It’s so hard to keep those guys out! How old are your chicks? Last time I raised chicks, I think I recall keeping them inside for 8 weeks, but they get pretty smelly by then!

  3. I suspect a possum. They are very wily and have done a lot of chicken hunting at a friend of mine’s permaculture haven. You might try getting some Expel spray and putting that around the perimeter. Sometimes that keeps away the critters, although I suspect the poor little chicks are very tempting and tasty to the hunter.

    Wishing you all luck! That Indiana Stonehenge place looks interesting. 🙂

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