Monday October 5 was a date of many transitions for our tiny farm. The main change for us is the arrival of Kevin. David and I traveled 300 miles to retrieve him from Happy Hallow Farm in East Moline.
Kevin has arrived at our farm to service our girls. He comes with great credentials, musky smell, and a beautiful black beard. He is a 5 year old Alpine buck with good genetic lines who has a lot of experience with breeding. With our small spaces, his lack of horns is very important. Surprisingly he has a very nice personality with the public, appreciating nose scratches.
GlennArt holds goat chills daily, where groups come to enjoy the pasture with baby goats and mommies. At 4 pm on Monday, Kevin spiced it up with the two young ladies who were at the pasture when he pulled up. The mommy goats smelled him through the enclosed van, immediately running to the fence. Our visitors sat on the other side of the fence separation with the baby goats and watched a scene from Animal Planet Kevin entered his new kingdom and reviewed the goat mommies immediately. We kept the baby girls separate, as they are to young for breeding. Maybe they were out of reach, but not out of smell as he snorted at them through the fence.
Kevin knows what to do, so much so that he woke me up this early morning with his tap dancing paces on the plastic pallets in the garage. I have heard of other bucks making loud noises, hollering in the process. Not our Kevin he was silent but insistent. He was trying to get through the fence to Betty who looked quite happy to accommodate him, though she is not on the list for breeding. He was peeing and snorting and pushing the separating fence which I reinforced at 4am. He continued to check the other four mommy goats in his area to see if they are ready. Impressive. He will be here for 45 days, through two esterus cycles to make certain the girls are bred for 2021.
After a dry and hot August and early September, the appearance of our last nectar flow of Asters, Golden Rod and Wild Garlic creates a glamorous prelude to fall colors. Yesterday's rain has helped. It is the last hurrah for bees to find pollen and nectar before the estimated frost of October.
After finding a bumble queen in fall 2019, much to my surprise I found another Bumble Queen. She was obvious as she appeared over 1 inch large. I estimated her to be a 'bombus bimaculatus,' based on her markings and wings. There are 9 bumble varieties in the state of Illinois and I have seen the queens of two of them. Here is a link to learn about bumble lifestyles and details.
Enjoy the beauty around you today , it comes in small doses along the street, in the crevasses of the gutter, behind the bushes in your yard.
LOOK FOR THE WINDY CITY LOGO ON OUR HOUSE!
CONTACT: Jenny Addison
Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts Presents
The 10th Annual Windy City Coop Tour
Chicago, IL Sept. 1, 2020 – The Windy City Coop Tour is back for its 10th year showcasing backyard poultry, eco-yards and urban livestock across Chicago! During this self-guided tour, hosts open their yards to visitors and share their experience keeping backyard livestock in an urban setting. The Windy City Coop Tour provides access to local examples of the broader nation-wide movement toward sustainable urban back yards.
Cost: Free and open to the public! (No dogs allowed)
When: Saturday September 19 10:00AM-1:00PM and 1:00-4:00PM
Sunday September 20 10:00AM-1:00PM and 1:00-4:00PM.
Where: Windy City Coop Tour 2020 Map
How: To choose your itinerary, see: 2020 Tour Site Info for Visitors
What can Visitors do on the Tour?
GlennArt Farm in 2020: Milk, Goat Therapy and Neighbors in a time of pandemic protest on the West Side
The year 2020 required all of the country and world to change how to live differently. Schools closed, people became ill and died, and providers of families lost jobs. Meanwhile our society closed into a lockdown. For us on the farm we continued to offer our raw unpasteurized goat milk to customers and offer time with goats. Yet it has been a crazy year living with the pandemic and protests in Chicago. The pandemic quarantine created a different environment on the West Side causing more time with neighbors, and learning to live together in peace. I plan to write more details about our neighborhood reactions to protest in another article.
Our milking season started in June with the last arrival of our goat babies. Leani showed up on time and healthy. She is different from the other kids and has a fun personality. With white ears and black spots we call her the Prada Girl, as she looks sharp in her prada collar and leash. These goat kids attracted attention not only in the community but also with families in Chicago.
When we began to schedule chills in May, we did not realize that we were providing a service to families in lockdown. In pre-pandemic years, typical Goat Yoga classes were held with 20-25 people. Goat Chills became a small family group activity with fun outdoors while fulfilling health restrictions. Families came and hung out with goats and amazingly it continues to be a popular activity all summer till even now in September. As June and July continued, we continued to call the Mayor's office to review options. In July we offered Goat Yoga only through private groups. Parties of 12 or less only.
The Goat Chills consisted of spending an hour with baby goats at the Root Riot Community Garden pasture on Waller street, and sometimes on Huron Street. People come and sit on chairs in the pasture while goats play jump and visit with them. I even enjoyed moments to relax with goats.
During this year we have learned to live more intentionally with our neighbors. We have a gathering spot on Midway Park, which is across from the Root Riot Garden and Pasture. More people gather daily to drink and smoke and chat. More people are out of work these days and the hot weather drives them to a cooler space. Mothers need to have a place to sit with their children. So people I have not met before come to this place in cars or walking. We have offered families to come into the pasture when we were there, and a number of families walking by took our offer. The trees planted last fall occupy the sidewalk in front of the pasture on Waller Street. They were were stripped of all branches three times because more people were outdoors and wanted to feed the goats branches. We continue to put up signs asking not to tear tender trees.
A number of children are outside and unsupervised. They come to the fountain at the end of Midway Park, which is across the street from Root Riot and play in the water. The Chicago water parks two blocks away have been closed all summer. With this summer being the hottest on record, these cooling activities happen regularly. Human kids also released our baby goats onto the street. Praise God for good neighbors who called me. This has happened in years before and the kids and I had a talk about goats and why they are in a fenced area. After nine years, we have another group of young kids to educate. I hope to hire a few of these kids to care for our herd.
Our Garfield Park agreement was cancelled this year, so we have one less place to graze our animals. We made heavy use of moving our goats to different lots within six blocks of the house. All of our herd from goat kids to milking mammas, are trained to jump into the van to find a nice place to eat forage. We learned to move the goats daily in July , August and now September.
Every year this urban farm expects one Great Escape of goats. In 2020, it came on the Long Street Property. Kids pulled the gate open to pet the babies and the big goats pushed their way out. We had twelve goats running up and down on Long Street before we could arrive. Praise God for our neighbors who corralled them into another lot. We arrived five minutes after the neighborhood community moved the animals. We cannot operate on the West Side without the kind help of our neighbors.
A group of landowners have an agreement for GlennArt Farm to use their lots for agriculture. We clean the garbage, mow the lots and provide the owners with manure for gardening. This year the owners' gardening efforts and the goats did not mix well. The property on Superior had a small plot of corn, potatoes and beans, so we attempted to fence the girls out. With nothing else to do but look longingly at the corn, the fence was pushed down and the garden destroyed. We made payment for some of the owner's loss. In our accounting recoreds, we called it expensive "goat feed." So fencing a garden from goats does not mix. We hope to be more considerate to our supporting friends in the future.
Smaller spaces in the city cause us all to cooperate with kindness and care specifically with more folk on the street. One neighbor taught me a lesson during the Fourth of July season. A group of kids walked by with firecrackers. I do not like the noise and danger of these products. I was calling out to these kids to not throw them close to the goats while at a lot on Long Street. Ms Tara who was outside reminded me that unsupervised kids in a group do not need anyone else yelling at them. I am a visitor at these places, and no matter what I need to be kind, calm and caring. A good lesson to remember especially this year of pandemic.
We are not able to start goat yoga classes in May and June, in order to keep safe with the world wide pandemic of COVID 19. So far we have four babies, expecting more in the coming days. Family groups now living a life of 'shelter in place' are invited to meet baby goats in our pasture spaces. One mom stated "This is good for the soul," after the 45 minutes of quiet with grazing goat mamas and baby goats napping in the grass.
Contact David at our email@example.com email address for more information. Weekly we set up times that jive with the occasional good weather we are experiencing in May. Come enjoy a few minutes of the spring with baby goats.
While Root Riot Community Garden has undergone a significant renovation, GlennArt is working on the pasture portion of the property. This process clears parasite in the grasses as well as allows us to plant other cover crop species that have higher nutrition value for the goats.
The chicks arrived almost two weeks ago, and they are happily eating grass and grain. As we move the tractor across the field, the chicks eat down the plant life. We then sow annual alfalfas, clovers, and millets for goats to eat in July. The chicks have survived a lot of rainy and cold weather. Stay tuned as we continue remediation of the field.
Life continues this spring as Root Riot Community Garden and GlennArt Farm renovate the Waller Street property. Our biggest project is to create a pasture mediation process that allows us to clear parasites from the grasses. These parasites consist mostly of barber pole worms(Haemonchus contortus), a primary cause of anemia in our animals.
I had a choice of buying a cow (!!!!), a donkey, sheep or to obtain a chicken tractor. While all those other ideas seem fun and permanent, we opted for the chicken tractor. We have built a mobile chicken coop on wheels. Raising chickens for four weeks seemed like a shorter commitment.
Today our Wwoofer volunteers Miles Weber and Andria Ahrens worked with our local carpenter Nairobi Anderson to cover the frame of the tractor. Half of the 'box' is covered with hardware wire, and half with roofing. Because of our April snow earlier this week we go to Carlock to pickup the chicks on Saturday.
Looking forward to attaching the wheels tomorrow after yet another snow tonight.
Here is a simple slide show that I used in our planning sessions this winter. With the COVID19 in our midst, we all need to plan for beauty. We continue to establish an agricultural ecosystem within the city of Chicago that bring nature back to its people on the West Side. Grazing is a major method to do this. Our efforts are based on provided grazing plant systems for our goats and bees. The first slide on this series shows kids and goats in a lot on Long Street. While Long Street has grass it is not meant for nutrition. GlennArt will eventually develop this lot with healthy grasses and flowering plants. The second slide shows our daily perspective of Chicago light, cement and buildings and roads. The sight of city lights can be beautiful and overwhelming.
We are developing models to create environments for pollinators to thrive, for mini edible forests to feed us, and grasses for our animals to begin the cycle of connection to the land. You will also see a plan to organize the edible forest garden and the efforts that have begun, thanks to Joshua Morrow's research. We are building a chicken tractor to reestablish the grasses on Waller Street Root Riot Garden. Stay tuned for more details as they happen this week.
When NeighborSpace gained ownership of the property on Waller Street, plans could be made. First though the property had to be remediated from hazardous pollution on the property. Taking advantage of the process, the Garden team organized the space with GlennArt Farm workers to prep for the arrival of the bulldozers. The site sldo needed to be graded to eliminate the debris from the previous building structure.
There is plenty of space for any new participants in the garden as well as a coordinated effort to plant an edible forest garden. This process started last fall with the planting of 26 trees. Openlands donated the trees and the Root Riot folk helped to install them. A greenhouse is in the works for the soon future as well as a staging area for gardeners to move materials, newly organized raised beds and a more central entrance to the area. Thank you NeighborSpace and the hard work of the Root Riot Root Riot Community Garden. Special thanks to Amy Beltimacchi for coordinating the miriad of needs and details in the planning of the garden for the future support to the community of the West Side. It is exciting to see these developments of the Waller Street Property.
Seeker, Wife. Mother, English Language tutor, goat farmer, friend
(Carolyn's dates & thoughts)
Girls come home!
applied for Funding WWOOFUSA
Root Riot Meeting at Glennart. Planning garden changes.
> Urban Livestock EXPO
Cheese Document plan EXCEL Program
> FIRST GGG Gathering
3/9/2017 Plant: Spinach, lettuce indoors
3/21/2017 First day of SPRING!!!!
3/22/2017 Plant carrots with garlic
4/1/2016 Plan/repair pasture fencing
4/5/2017 set up potato beds
4/12/2017 Kidding Season begins
> Plant potatoes
4/21/17 Milking season begins
4/25/2016 Set up fencing
> Kidding season continues
5/20/17 Spring Gathering
5/25/16 plant Sweet potato in beds watermelon. squash
5/10/16 Cheese making begins
5/15-7/2/16 Last two does duePatsy and Destiny
Sale of bucklings
> Sale of bucklings
> Weaning begins
> Cheese making continues
> Sale of doelings
> Cheese making continues
> Dry out the does
> Does to Wisconsin for breeding