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Thread: KH were you in Newport Beach recently?

  1. #151
    The Mad Monk
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    Eliot Coleman, Maine's winter-harvest farmer, gives tips on extending Ohio's growing season
    Published: Thursday, October 27, 2011, 5:41 AM Updated: Thursday, October 27, 2011, 6:11 AM

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Winter, begone.

    That little voice of protest inside a gardener's head starts ringing this time of year. The average date of the first frost in Northeast Ohio has passed (Oct. 23, according to Farmers' Almanac) and the days are growing shorter. By Nov. 11, says timeanddate.com, we'll drop below the 10 hours of daylight needed to encourage plant growth.

    Unless you're lucky enough to own (and afford to heat and light) a greenhouse, your days of fresh basil leaves are numbered. The growing season is over.

    Don't tell that to Eliot Coleman. The coastal Maine farmer believes in stalking the endless spring, even under a blanket of stone-cold snow.



    Coleman, author of several books including, most recently, "The Winter Harvest Handbook," has made a name for himself by growing all year long in one of the coldest parts of the country. He believes home growers in Northeast Ohio can do the same.

    "No one thought that without heat we could actually harvest during the winter," Coleman said on the phone last week from his organic farm in Harborside.

    His method uses tall, unheated plastic greenhouses and, under each of them, several low, plastic-sheeted row covers for extra insulation. The shelters keep out drying, frigid wind and allow in light and solar heat, which gets trapped under the plastic.

    "When it's 15 degrees below zero outside, it's 18 above under the inner layer," he said.

    While that kind of cold can kill tomatoes and peppers, it works for a variety of hardy greens such as spinach, scallions, carrots, leeks and baby lettuces, which are harvested and sold at his farm all year. The system also gives him a jump-start on the season with a wide variety of vegetables, including potatoes as early as May.



    Metal hoops and plastic sheeting may not sound like rocket science, but, as with most things, there are plenty of details leading to his success.

    Coleman is scheduled to speak in early November at a season-extension workshop in London (Ohio) co-sponsored by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, the state's leading organic group, and Countryside Conservancy, which fosters farming in the Cuyahoga Valley and elsewhere.

    Aimed at commercial growers, the event sold out weeks ago. Coleman agreed to talk to us about what home gardeners here can do to extend the season.

    The first and cheapest method is a series of quick hoops, half-inch diameter hollow metal tubes that are used for electrical conduit. Bent into curves and shoved into the ground, they are covered with spun-bonded fabric that is staked into the ground.

    Tips on building and buying row covers and plastic greenhouses
    Eliot Coleman says his current cost of supplies to build a 10-by-12-foot bare-bones greenhouse is about $200, not including the tool to bend galvanized metal conduit pipe into frame sections.

    "The bending tool sells for about $69.95 at Johnny's Selected Seeds [1-877-564-6697]," he said. "It's the perfect thing for a garden club to buy for its members to use."

    He recommends using plastic sheeting that blocks ultraviolet rays (to last longer) and spun-bonded agricultural fabric at 19-weight for insulation.

    Floyd Davis of Red Basket Farm in Kinsman, a year-round produce vendor at Tremont and Peninsula farmers markets, recommends two local sources, BFG in Burton (1-800-883-0234) and E&M Produce Supply (15266 S. Hayes Road, Middlefield, just south of Ohio 87). He's also ordered greenhouse kits and equipment from growerssupply.com.

    Several websites offer extensive greenhouse-building plans, including Mother Earth News, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, ehow.com , an Alberta (Canada) home gardener, and a site that promises plans for a $50 greenhouse at doorgarden.com.

    Tunnel Vision Hoops, a new Shaker Heights-based company, constructs metal-framed, plastic-covered greenhouses. The business was founded when its principals grew dissatisfied with available hoop house plans.

    They've built them in four counties, including for Cleveland Botanical Garden and Case Western Reserve University's Squire Valleevue Farm in Hunting Valley. (216-902-8530; company story at bit.ly/kBKmRT.)

    A scale model of their new 10-by-12-foot design is on display at the gift shop of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

    "If you buy it as a kit, it's $1,469, complete with a gutter system, roll-up sides, a real storm door on the front and zippered door on the back," said Carlton Jackson, one of three owners. Installation costs $299 if you're not assembling it yourself.

    From Maine, Coleman logged on to Tunnel Vision's site, tunnelvisionhoops.com, and admired their designs.

    "These guys are doing good work," he said.

    Watering is not always necessary during the coldest months, but if it is, sandbags can be removed for sprinkler or hose access. As the season gets colder, a layer of plastic that is resistant to ultraviolet rays is added and pulled taut at the ends and staked to keep snow from crushing it. Sandbags hold down the sides.

    The hoops give those last tomatoes more time to ripen, and protect herbs from an early frost.

    "Quick hoops also are great for keeping plants over the winter," said Coleman. He starts onions and scallions in August, spinach and lettuce seeds in October, and by the next spring he's four to five weeks ahead of uncovered crops.

    As the season heats up, the sandbags are taken off for ventilation, and the sheets are removed.

    While Maine is colder than Ohio, and has fewer hours of daylight, we also have cloudy winters that can thwart plant growth.

    Coleman suggests doing what he has done all along: Use the trial-and-error method of gardening to find out what works.

    Northern growers, he says in the new book, need to discover how early they can plant under a quick hoop without triggering the plants to go to seed early in the spring. Climate will also determine what varieties are cold-hardy enough and how big a seedling must be planted to make it through the winter.

    "If there's a mistake to be made, I guarantee I've made it," he said. "We jokingly refer to our farm as the National Empirical Research Station."

    Adding a plastic greenhouse, hoop house or high tunnel over the row covers opens the door to winter growth as well as harvest, he says, although the growth is modest.

    "The way to think of it is a harvest season rather than a growing season," he says of the greenhouses.



    Unheated row covers (or low tunnels) and plastic greenhouses (or high tunnels) keep Coleman's Maine farm harvesting all year.
    "Harvest is what you're after in the long run, anyway. Someone once referred to the greenhouses as large translucent crisper drawers. You are basically stockpiling food."

    But it's fresh homegrown food, a rarity at that time of year. It's often more flavorful than store-bought because of its struggle through the cold. And you can select more- nutritious varieties than those commonly found at the supermarket.

    Coleman recommends a greenhouse with galvanized metal pipe supports and a footprint no smaller than 10 by 12 feet. Anything smaller might not have enough air mass to stay warm overnight, or to cool off quickly in warmer weather. (See story on greenhouse sources in this section.)

    A 10-by-12-foot house can also be moved by several people, giving a protected environment to a next-generation crop and opening the previously covered soil to the purifying rays of the sun and rain.

    One bit of bad news for raised-bed fans: The row covers and greenhouses work best with field plantings, since raised beds are more vulnerable to cold. Still, a layer of protection for beds can warm things up significantly as well as protect from wind, pests and, when using shade cloth, punishing sun.

    Extending the season means extending the work.

    "You have to think in terms of having two spring seasons," Coleman said. "August and September are like your second spring. And if you think about the first spring providing you the first six months of eating, a second spring gets you that second harvest. It makes a great deal of sense."
    http://www.cleveland.com/insideout/i...winter-ha.html
    Last edited by The Mad Monk; March 6, 2012 at 11:06.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

  2. #152
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    That's cool.
    Last edited by notyoueither; March 6, 2012 at 12:35.
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  3. #153
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    My tomato plants have produced all through out winter and still have fruit on them now. No, I don't waste money on plastic greenhouse tubes either.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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  4. #154
    The Mad Monk
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    If you had an actual winter, it wouldn't be a waste, now would it?
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

  5. #155
    Dinner
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    Who would want to live in a place like that?
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself."
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  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinner View Post
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    Who would want to live in a place like that?
    Stupid people, masochists, and Canadians.
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  7. #157
    The Mad Monk
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    People whe wouldn't need to steal water to live.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

  8. #158
    notyoueither
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinner View Post
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    Who would want to live in a place like that?

    Lot's of room, clean water, clean air, and we don't have to live around pussies as they tend to leave.
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  9. #159
    The Mad Monk
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    You know what's funny?

    Locovores who live in a former desert that would revert to desert if it weren't for stolen water.

    That's funny.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

  10. #160
    Dinner
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Monk View Post
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    People whe wouldn't need to steal water to live.
    Steal water? The water belongs to the state and since most of the people in the state live in the south we just offer them a nice fair vote about what to do with state resources.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself."
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  11. #161
    Dinner
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Monk View Post
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    You know what's funny?

    Locovores who live in a former desert that would revert to desert if it weren't for stolen water.

    That's funny.
    Naw, sorry but this isn't a desert any more than Italy is in a desert. Hard to have forests dominated by oak trees and open grasslands if it is a desert.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself."
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  12. #162
    The Mad Monk
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    Forget it Jake, its Chinatown.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

  13. #163
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    Mulholland and some of the LADWP people in the teens and 20's did do some dirty things, completely legal but dirty things, to get the water to turn Los Angeles into America's second city. That's two counties north of me too and we didn't get any DWP water until the late 70's. We survived on local water captured and stored in local reservoirs, dams on local rivers, and one canal built east to the Colorado river. As the population boomed adding more and more people we eventually did have to pay (through the nose even) to connect to DWP water and today DWP royally ****s us for water because we've had to cut back on the amount of water we get from the Colorado and relay more on DWP for water. Anyway, we're not a desert (well there are deserts east of the coast range but no one lives there) but water can be tight so it does have to be managed so the three million people in the county can all get their share. Even so 80% of our water still comes from local sources according to the SDRWA.

    Oh, one last thing. Farmers almost never use imported water around here. Most farmers have owned their land (or rather their families have) since since the 19th century and so they own local water rights. It's the city slickers and their lawns which end up sucking up the imported water which makes up 20% of our total local water usage.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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  14. #164
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    Yeah, most of the water efforts locally in the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th century was how to remain independent from the evil imperialists to the north at LADWP. They essentially turned Orange County, Riverside County, and Ventura County into their vassals but both San Diego and Santa Barbara Counties successfully had their own local water programs independent of LADWP. Both of those counties basically had something those other counties lacked; a fairly large local river which could be dammed at a number of places even with 1900 era technology.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself."
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  15. #165
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    Who are you talking to?
    Discuss the latest Civilization: Beyond Earth news here!
    "We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones." - François de La Rochefoucauld

  16. #166
    The Mad Monk
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    Me.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

  17. #167
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    Still, I was just having a piss, those green house tubes are cool, you can get things to grow even in the coldest conditions without any additional heat, and that has to help a whole lot of people get a whole lot more fresh fruits and veggies without having to ship them halfway around the world. That is cool.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself."
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  18. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeson View Post
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    Chickens are annoying creatures. The more I've been around them, the more happy I am to eat them.
    Chickens are tasty creatures. The more I've been around them, the more happy I am to eat them.

    FTFY

  19. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braindead View Post
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    Chickens are tasty creatures. The more I've been around them, the more happy I am to eat them.
    Being around them doesn't increase the taste... it sure increases the annoyance though...
    "tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner"
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  20. #170
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    It increases my appreciation of how they taste knowing the ****er is now dead. Seriously though at the annual company picknick they usually do it on a farm with chickens running around, a petting zoo etc... I've seen 12 year old kids who could just stomp on the rooster get chased around the yard by an aggressive rooster and those bastards sure do love to crow all the time. Lastly, they **** on everything even the picknick table with the buffet on it. They just hop up when no one is looking, grab some food, **** on the table, and run off. Every time I eat chicken I think of that, realize the bastard I'm eating got what he deserved, and it makes the chicken taste that much better.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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  21. #171
    The Mad Monk
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    Rooster Pinata: The Best Sport in the World
    For those of you who don’t know, I love chickens. Seriously – they’re awesome. I love them. Read this post if you don’t believe me.

    Okay, now that I’ve cleared my good name I can tell you about Evil.

    Back when I was living in the Kern County area I used to board my horse at a little stables off the main highway. The stalls were fantastic, the rent was incredibly cheap, and even though it was in a small town the stables themselves seemed to have less drama than most barns I’ve been at. All in all it was a really great place.

    The only downside to the barn was the location – as it was situated off of a main highway, most people could see it from the road. I don’t know what your experience has been, but when normal, non-horsey people see a stables they don’t think, “Hey, look! A stables! I bet they keep horses there. Neat.”

    They seem to think, “Hey, look! Horse Stables! That’s where my latest unwanted puppy/cat/dog/kitten/chicken needs to be abandoned!”

    I’m sure they mean well, even if what they're doing is incredibly selfish, lazy, and rather cruel. They probably have this nice idea of their animal living a comfortable, happy lifestyle, surrounded by laughing people and sweet-smelling hay bales. “The kittens are playful! They can eat mice, and run around, and live a good life! All barns need a cat, right?”


    Look,I don't know about the rest of you, but we had a term for abandoned kittens at a horse barn. We called them “Coyote Candy”.

    Maybe it was the area we lived in, but the animals which were constantly abandoned at our barn never really lived all that long. It was a race against time, trying to find them homes before they were eaten. Someone would drop off a litter of kittens. By Tuesday, there would only be three little fluffballs. On Friday there would only be one. By Monday the barns would once again be cat-free, and someone would drop off an abandoned puppy.

    Cats, kittens, puppies, chickens…. None of them seemed to last. The coyotes in the area seemed to consider our barn their own personal buffet, and none of the abandoned animals seemed to live very long.

    That is, except for Evil. Evil was a ratty, ragged, ill-tempered rooster. He was a mottled red, had two or three drooping, pathetic tail feathers, and evil, beady little eyes.

    I have no idea who dropped Evil off, but for all I know they knew all about our coyote issue and thought they were assigning Evil to a very deserved death. To be honest, I wouldn't blame them.

    From the day he arrived Evil took over the stables. He went wherever he wanted to go.... and heaven help you if you tried to make him leave before he was ready.

    He was fine as long as you approached him directly. If you walked towards him he’d stand up and saunter off, bobbing slowly away. He always managed to make it look like it was his idea, too.

    What’s that? Oh, I just felt like getting up and walking over here. See how I’m not meeting your eye? You’re not making me do this at all. I *want* to go over here.

    Yeah, getting him to move away from your stall/barn/hay stack wasn’t a problem.

    The problem was when you turned your back.

    I still remember the first time I saw him. “Oh, hey! A rooster! Someone dropped off some chickens. Cool!” I squatted down, waggling my fingers at him. “Heeeeeere, chook,chook, chook. Heeeeere, chook, chook, chook.”

    Evil stared at me silently, ignoring my outstretched hand.

    “Tcht, tcht…heeeeeere, chook, chook.”

    “Bakwaaaaaaaaak….” Evil growled ominously, and sauntered off.

    I stood up, dusting my pants in disappointment, then turned around to head back to Jubilee’s stall.

    “BCKWAAAAAAK!” With a triumphant scream of rage, Evil launched himself at my back in a furious scrabble of flapping wings, scratching legs, and pointy, stabby little pecks of his beak.

    Naturally, I did what any sane person would do when ambushed by an evil, attacking rooster bent on world domination:

    I dropped my car keys, screamed like a little girl, and bolted about 10 feet in the opposite direction before turning around to see what was after me.

    Evil stood in a cloud of dust, glaring at me, then smugly scratched the ground twice before sauntering off. He’d showed me.

    I stared at him, mouth agape. Had I…. had I just been beaten up by a chicken?

    Why, yes. Yes I had. And it wasn’t the last time, either.

    If Evil had just come at me fairly, I would have shown him who was boss, and that would have been that. The problem was that Evil was smart. He knew his only hope lay in ambush, so he never attacked you face-to-face.

    He was oddly stealthy for a chicken, and would creep up on you silently while you were distracted. One second I’d be calmly cleaning Jubilee’s stall, lulled into a peaceful state through the steady scooping and sifting of the clean shavings through the tines of the manure fork…

    And the next second I’d have a giant rooster stabbing me with his claws, screaming his rage into my ear as he scrabbled and clawed at my back.

    I’d scream and bolt every time, and every time I’d turn around and see that stupid chicken standing there, smugly eyeballing me before he sauntered out of the pen.

    No matter how vigilant I remained, he always managed to wait until my guard was down before attacking. He bothered other people at the stables, but for some reason he took a particular aversion to me. I swear that rooster was hunting me.

    I hated that rooster. I felt a little guilty, but to be honest, I couldn't wait for the coyotes to get him.

    For once, the coyotes failed to do their job. That stupid rooster refused to be eaten. I think even the coyotes realized he was a little too evil for them to mess with.

    Within a few weeks I was twitchy and spooky, jumping at the slightest noise and doing my best to look over my shoulder every thirty seconds. It’s not like I didn’t try to fight back. I remember the time he spooked me so hard I jumped into the barn wall, scraping my nose. I completely lost it. That was IT. Love of chickens or not, I’d had enough. Evil the rooster was going DOWN.

    I flew out the front of the stall, manure fork carried over my head like an angry villager’s torch. Evil tried sauntering away from me for a few steps, but once he realized I meant business he took off. I don't know if you know this or not, but chickens are FAST when they want to be.


    Unfortunately for evil roosters, so are Beckys.


    That stupid rooster and I tore up one row of stalls and down the other in an eerie silence. He didn’t make a single sound as he ran, and the only sound coming from me was a steady, determined breathing.

    He fluttered through stalls, doubled back through the manure spreader, scurried over pipes, dashed through the round pen…. All with me hot on his heels. We were spooking every horse we went past, but I didn’t care.

    I’m not sure how the situation would have resolved itself if the barn manager hadn’t come by to feed her horse. She pulled in front of her stall just in time to see me round a corner, red-faced and sweaty, four steps behind that stupid rooster, manure fork cocked and loaded against my shoulder like a bat.

    “Becky! What are you doing?!”

    “Killing him,” I huffed as I sprinted past her, spooking her horse.

    It didn’t do to spook the barn manager’s horse.

    “BECKY! KNOCK IT OFF. LEAVE THAT CHICKEN ALONE!” For such a short woman, she had an impressively loud voice.

    I slid to stop and watched angrily as Evil immediately slowed down to a saunter. He wasn’t running away. He was just out for an evening stroll... although for once I did catch him looking directly at me as he panted as heavily as I did.

    “I’m sick of that rooster, Diane.”

    “Then leave it alone, Becky.” An animal lover to her core, I could see that Diane wasn’t going to see my side of the equation. I was just an evil, chicken-chasing animal hater. She shook her head in disappointment.

    “Fine,” I snapped, stalking back to my barn to fume.

    Life continued along the same lines for a couple of weeks. I did my best to ignore the idiot, evil rooster, hoping the coyotes would finally man up and do their job. They didn't, and Evil continued to ambush and scare the living crap out of me every time he got a chance.

    That is, until that one, beautiful, magical day.

    I had just finished cleaning pens and was on my way to go dump the manure in the manure pile, when I saw him. I know you probably won’t believe me, but the stupid rooster was sneaking around the corner of my barn so he could lay in wait and attack me the moment I walked past him to put my manure fork away.

    Ha. Gotcha, Evil.

    I did my best to pretend I didn’t know he was there. Casually, I dumped the load of manure and went to go replace the wheelbarrow in its spot by the barn. Even more casually I turned to head back on my usual path to Jubilee's stall.


    As I walked past the corner where he was hidden, I just happened to raise the manure fork and rest it on my shovel. I wasn’t doing it on purpose… it was just a casual thing. I had a manure fork.. why not rest it on my shoulder? It had nothing to do with the fact I was getting ready to take a swing. Nope. I was Casual Becky. I was Unaware Becky. I was Victim Becky, just continuing along with my chores. La, la, la, laaaa, laaa……

    About three steps after I passed his hiding spot, I saw him make his move out of the corner of my eyes. Head low and limp tail feathers spread, he rushed forward, preparing to leap for his attack.

    Tightning my grip on the handle, I pivoted on my left foot, straightened my elbows and started a downhill golf swing with the manure fork, driving through with the force of my hips and the experience of too many mornings practicing at the driving range with my dad…

    And I connected.

    The second I felt the back of that manure fork connect with that idiotic, evil bird, I knew it was a good shot.

    THWAAAACK!!!! The sound of that solid, square, perfectly on-target hit resonating through the evening air was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard. I can’t even begin to describe how good it felt. It was a cool drink on a really hot day. It was the first taste of ice cream. It was stepping into a Jacuzzi after getting chilled spending too many hours in the pool. It was all those things… but better.

    It was incredible.

    “BAKWAAAAK!” Evil sounded genuinely surprised as the rush of his charge met with the swing of the manure fork.

    “BAKWAAAK!” He complained. “BAKWAAAAAAK!” He said, as he flew an incredibly satisfying distance, landing about 15 or 20 feet away in a disheveled heap in a cloud of dust.

    “HA!” I shouted in my most mature, intelligent fashion. “HA! Take that, you stupid, evil rooster. Who’s the man, now? Huh? Who’s the one who won that bout? ME, that’s who! What’s that?”

    I may or may not have stomped threateningly in his direction.

    “What’s that? You want some more of this?” It’s possible I may have throw my arms wide at this point – not that I’d ever to admit to such childish, infantile behavior.

    Evil stared me, and for a brief second it I saw a brief flash of respect, bordering on fear in his eyes.

    I met his look, squaring my shoulders and facing him defiantly, trusty manure fork by my side.

    “Bakwawk,” he muttered disdainfully, turning around to saunter off in the opposite direction.

    He never attacked me again.
    http://www.blogofbecky.com/2012/01/r...-in-world.html
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

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