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Brooklyn hipsters make shocking discovery - farming is a lot of work!!

ratgirlagogo Aug 20, 2013 02:55 AM


And now New Yorkers aren't just abandoning cats and dogs they got tired of - they're abandoning chickens, ducks, and goats.

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  1. viperlush RE: ratgirlagogo Aug 20, 2013 09:18 AM

    It's shocking that city creatures eat chickens and that plants have problem growing in poor soil and direct light. How could they have possibly known.

    1 Reply
    1. re: viperlush
      EWSflash RE: viperlush Aug 20, 2013 06:39 PM

      Yeah, it's not like they read up on it anywhere other than the hipster mags.

    2. gaffk RE: ratgirlagogo Aug 20, 2013 12:06 PM

      Who knew that a schedule is required to properly care for farm animals? Guess that's why I don't see a lot of farmers enjoying 3-martini lunches in the city or dancing in the clubs at 2 AM?

      SMH . . . Guess the animal shelters should just be happy urban dairy farming never became hip.

      1. j
        julesrules RE: ratgirlagogo Aug 20, 2013 12:14 PM

        Ok that was a fun read. I love it when my laziest instincts are verified. That said, I love it when neighbours grow things and share them. One such neighbour who knew I admired her efforts offered to share her space with me when she realized it was just too much work for her. I graciously said no thanks.

        13 Replies
        1. re: julesrules
          mike0989 RE: julesrules Aug 20, 2013 12:26 PM

          <That said, I love it when neighbours grow things and share them.>

          Evidently you've never had a neighbor growing zucchini. You leanr to hide as the season goes on and you spot them heading towrds your door with the latest batch they are desperate to unload.

          1. re: mike0989
            hawkeyeui93 RE: mike0989 Aug 22, 2013 04:55 AM

            Mercifully, my zucchini plant [I am smart to only grow one] died this year after its first round of producing. I have great soil in Iowa, but I have only marginal luck with zucchini over the past few years. Sounds like a blessing in disguise.

            1. re: mike0989
              julesrules RE: mike0989 Aug 22, 2013 07:19 AM

              I always wonder why people even grow the stuff, to be honest. I don't *dislike* it, but the can't-give-it-away aspect has become such a running joke, why go there? And unlike tomatoes and some other veg, I see no great taste or freshness advantage with homegrown zucchini.
              My gardening neighbour has never unloaded zuc on me, although my DH came home with some from a co-worker yesterday. I could tell he was thrilled ;) Along similar lines my neighbour has discovered that her family has only a limited interest in radishes.

              1. re: julesrules
                Jerseygirl111 RE: julesrules Aug 22, 2013 01:01 PM

                I guess it depends where you are. We insist on growing a huge garden (relatively speaking on an 1/4 acre lot) and my hubs has always brought fresh vegetables to work. People come up to him to ask him for stuff. We also receive in return and are thrilled. He just got two huge bags of fresh figs from a coworker yesterday. Mahattanites seem especially thrilled with free, fresh vegetables.

                You can always set up a table at the end of your driveway, pile the produce on top and make a big sign that says FREE. It'll be gone in no time.

                Hint: if people hide when you come calling with zucchini, make zucchini bread or muffins. It freezes well, there are tons of variations (chocolate!) and people love it.

                Turn that negative into a positive!

                1. re: Jerseygirl111
                  julesrules RE: Jerseygirl111 Aug 22, 2013 01:06 PM

                  Figs are fine! Bring on the arugula, chard and tomatoes! I love to receive most fresh home grown produce, even if I don't have the time or energy to grow it myself.
                  It is specifically zuchini that I truly wonder why people grow more than one plant, or at all. Even in muffins I prefer to blend with carrots, and one zucchini makes *a lot* of shredded zucchini for baking. But sure, enough fat and sugar can dress up most things. There's lots of things you can do with zucc and I like many of them, just not THAT much.

                  1. re: julesrules
                    Jerseygirl111 RE: julesrules Aug 22, 2013 01:47 PM

                    Oh jules, what did zucchini ever do to you? Lol

                  2. re: Jerseygirl111
                    mike0989 RE: Jerseygirl111 Aug 22, 2013 02:15 PM

                    If one could plant half of a zucchini, it would be about perfect. The problem is, when it decides to produce, it produces. Yeah you can make make bread out of it. You can also hollow the bigger ones out and make toy boats for the pool. When you have that much, you get bored and inventive. I grew up with a garden in my my backyard and you can get hit with too much of a good thing. Fresh corn is great in June. When you are picking 5 -10 ears a day in July-August, it gets old. Geen beans one didn't notice so much during season as we canned them. However, come April and we are having canned green beans 2-3 days a week, I'm tired of them.

                  3. re: julesrules
                    tardigrade RE: julesrules Aug 22, 2013 08:36 PM

                    I'm fond of squash blossoms, so I plant several zucchini plants - and they do absolutely nothing. The plants look beautiful, but nary a blossom.

                    I do put out surplus lemons and avocados for neighbors to take. I don't do chickens - hens are legal in my city, and a few people in the neighborhood have small flocks - because I don't want the responsibility of taking care of them.

                  4. re: mike0989
                    pine time RE: mike0989 Aug 22, 2013 08:20 AM

                    I grew Japanese cucumbers for the first time this year, and sheesh, they must be close cousins to zucchini. Felt like tossing the excess into the car window of anybody who drove by the house.

                    1. re: pine time
                      kmcarr RE: pine time Aug 22, 2013 08:41 AM

                      I have a colleague who boasts about the small, friendly town she grew up in. They never locked their car doors, EXCEPT during zucchini season. If they left them unlooked while running into a store they would return to find a bushel of zucchini in their back seat.

                      1. re: kmcarr
                        cleobeach RE: kmcarr Aug 22, 2013 10:14 AM

                        Too funny about locking the car doors, it is almost that bad where I live. I joined a CSA this year and have become a slave to zucchini.

                        I am amazed that an animal rescue would take in chickens.

                        1. re: cleobeach
                          LindaWhit RE: cleobeach Aug 22, 2013 12:35 PM

                          There's an animal rescue near me (from which I adopted two cats) that also takes in chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, and horses. Depends on what they're capable of managing.

                  5. re: julesrules
                    viperlush RE: julesrules Aug 20, 2013 12:38 PM

                    I know my limits. I've always wanted neighbors with chickens who are willing to share. Or a neighbor with a goat to mow my lawn. Bees to pollinate stuff. But to own and be responsible for them? Not in my future.

                  6. emily RE: ratgirlagogo Aug 20, 2013 12:43 PM

                    "She has to rig three hoses together, stretching 75 feet from her kitchen faucet, to reach her parched plants, which get too much sun anyway."

                    Does she not know that hoses come in 75 (and 100) foot lengths?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: emily
                      viperlush RE: emily Aug 20, 2013 12:49 PM

                      Or a watering can or a rain barrel. Hauling water could be the new exercise fad. Poor thing.

                      1. re: viperlush
                        ratgirlagogo RE: viperlush Aug 20, 2013 06:20 PM

                        I was trying to figure out what she had spent the money on, that was visible in the picture. It looked like half a dozen clay or plastic pots, four wooden containers each around the size of a milk crate, and .....and what??!!?? I have a container garden here in Queens myself, and even with organic seeds, some organic soil I bought (and some of my own composting of course) - it couldn't even come to a hundred dollars tops. She must be buying some super special-ass seeds. Of course I also haven't planted anything that required a chicken wire cage - but jesus, we're talking about a chicken wire cage. I don't get it.
                        On the other hand, she is right about the soil. I've only had the soil tested in a couple of places I lived in NYC, both in Brooklyn (Park Slope and Williamsburg). In both cases the DEP told me I should not plant anything I was planning to eat and just grow flowers. That's why I just garden in containers.

                        1. re: ratgirlagogo
                          EWSflash RE: ratgirlagogo Aug 20, 2013 06:42 PM

                          She was reading the catalogs, there are hundreds of city gentleman farmer catalogs out there. it's easy to overspend, VERY easy.

                    2. EWSflash RE: ratgirlagogo Aug 20, 2013 06:38 PM

                      Good lord, if these people don't sound like a bunch of brainless dilettantes. Actually, add cruel to that. And why to hell would you tryto keep bees in the city? Okay, they're undergoing a scary amount of die-off, but your stupid Brooklyn beehive isn't going to do squat for the cause, never mind the people and pets that will get stung. They're a health hazard to a lot of people, got it? Not only that, are they going to be able to find enough food to survive in the city? It doesn't look like that interviewee has any common sense.
                      I have no more sympathy for people who abandon chickens than I do those who abandon dogs and cats. They're domesticated creatures being kept as pets. That means you're responsible for them. People like that are scum.

                      1. sockii RE: ratgirlagogo Aug 20, 2013 06:53 PM

                        God, this makes me rage.

                        My mother has a small animal farm - in a rural area outside of NYC, mind you - and yes, it has pretty much taken over her life. And she gets people dropping off their chickens at her doorstep, because they suddenly realize it is a full time job to take care of a farm and they don't want to do it. So they'll just hand off the animals to someone they know is a sucker for them.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: sockii
                          coney with everything RE: sockii Aug 22, 2013 04:44 AM

                          I seem to remember some article recently where the topic was what happens to urban chickens once they stop laying eggs. Apparently they end up in shelters, which I guess makes the former owners feel better about not having them for dinner, but ultimately probably the same fate for the chicken.

                          1. re: coney with everything
                            viperlush RE: coney with everything Aug 22, 2013 05:16 AM

                            I wonder if homeless shelters or those who provide food for others could adopt the chickens to butcher for a nominal fee. Or would PETA get too upset.

                            Some enterprising people will read this article and start offering their services as urban farmhands. Not only can someone smugly claim to own an urban farm, they can also claim to employ staff.

                            1. re: viperlush
                              ennuisans RE: viperlush Aug 22, 2013 05:41 AM

                              It's not a crazy idea to open an urban henhouse where people can pay a fee to have their chickens kept, like a community garden.

                              On the one hand, a hundred years ago even city dwellers had gardens and chickens and whatnot. But at that time there was often a wife at home to take care of things if they went wrong, water, feed, collect eggs. If you try to harvest your own food and produce dinner in the few hours between work and sleep things are likely to be difficult, I'd think.

                              1. re: ennuisans
                                ratgirlagogo RE: ennuisans Aug 23, 2013 08:15 AM

                                "On the one hand, a hundred years ago even city dwellers had gardens and chickens and whatnot."

                                This was true even more recently, fifty or maybe even forty years ago in parts of NYC, especially Staten Island and Queens. Queens had several good-sized commercial dairy farms and poultry farms as well.

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