Every tool I own and use at Mezzacello I have bought and replaced at least twice. Being in the middle of a large urban metropolis I have a high density of transients passing by the farm. Gates and locks are a suggestion. Carts and bikes are irresistible targets. Thieves made off with my carts last night. A raccoon tried to break into the chicken coop. This is the reality of building an urban farm. You have to be willing to plan accordingly. The sad part is that raccoons I can forgive, thieves I have more trouble with. They know better. But in reality, both are running on instinct. I need to be willing to pay that cost.
One of the early realities of building Mezzacello from scratch was that there would be capital costs. I have the capital costs of water, of insurance, of equipment, of security, of livestock and feed, and of karma. I can be angry and bitter about this, or I can just be more mindful and respect that this is one of the costs of being an iconoclast. I am not typical of a household in downtown Columbus.
I am reminded by a wonderful Cherokee proverb:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

My instinct is towards growth and life. As master Yoda was fond of saying, “Fear is the path to the dark side.” and anger is a currency of fear. I reframe this issue as the cost of building just another garden; except this garden is a garden of people – good and bad. I have resources. Those thieves needed those resources. It’s not fair that I have to pay, but life is not fair. For every bad actor in my garden of people, I have wonderful friends and neighbors. You dear reader are part of that people garden. This does not make me weak to look at it from this perspective, it makes me resilient. Hate and anger are not sustainable, and happiness can’t be bought. So I am grateful that I get the opportunity to do this with my life, and I keep marching. I bought a new wagon and I’ll keep pulling it behind me. Wiser, but not bot feeling bitter.

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4 thoughts on “The Natural Predators of an Urban Farm: Thieves and Raccoons”

  1. Charlie Christian

    Yes, that’s life. When I lived in the country (a good 5 miles from town) someone stole my son’s new bike and my chainsaw. The bike I got back, not new or ride able…chainsaw never saw again. Sheriff couldn’t find id information on the bike until I showed it to him. Judge didn’t even slap the thief’s hand. Now living in urban area, I’ve not had a problem with thieves or preditors…yet. My 5 Rouens and 1 Pekin lover running around the backyard and the pond. Happy is occurring.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about the bikes and chainsaw. I’ve had a chainsaw stolen as well. It’s tough waiting for the neighborhood to transition back to a more livable neighborhood.

  2. Charlie Christian

    Pond is 5ft x 11ft x 2ft. Small falls amd two pumps. One pump for the pond and falls, one smaller pump for fountain. Several attemps for pond filter came out to…plastic file / storage box. Lined inside edge of box with thick aquarium filter, inserted pump and filled rest of area with sponges. Sinked it into pond and no cleanings needed in last 6 weeks. 6 ducks, 2 drakes and 4 hens, are having fun. Me too.

    1. My problem with the pond is two fold; Ducks and an abundance of sunlight. The ducks pollute the water quickly and they nibble away all the surface vegetation. The sunlight falls on the pond all day during the summer months and that makes the algae grow like crazy! I needed an industrial level bio filter to deal with it all.

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