Raccooning On An Urban Farm

Raccooning is gambling with tools and delicate items trying to carry too much

Raccooning on an urban farm is bad strategy/habit to develop. Contrary to what Urban Dictionary thinks raccooning is, it is the tendency to try to carry too many things at one time because you don’t want to make extra trips across the farm. It seems like a good idea, but it is not.

Case in point, just yesterday I was attempting to repair the rabbit cages in the livestock shed. The cages sit too close to the waste tray underneath. In my attempt to lift the cage, hold the tool, and pull the tray out at the same time I spilled the tray and made a horrible, horrible mess.

So I spent an hour in -2C cold sterilizing the floor of the livestock shed because I am a grown man who can’t put one thing down before I start another thing. I do this all the time and it annoys me so much. I am so annoyed I decided to talk about it on this blog.

Better Planning and Systems

The root of this issue, (besides impatience) is poor planning. I need to spend time thinking about the work at hand. If I break the work down into discrete steps and work ahead of time to have all the tools and time I need then this would happen less. Unfortunately, I am usually trying to get jobs done quickly because I have to go to work, or I have some event.

This is also where better systems design is a key benefit. I have trying to consolidate tools and structures into similar spaces and places. I don’t want to over-buy tools, but there are some tools that I am ALWAYS going to need in the livestock shed for example, so I could raccoon those tools there and that’s where they live.

Their backup can live in the tool shed to be used with the 100 various projects I do during the day, every day. That little tool box and first aid kit that I built to live in the livestock shed, stays in the livestock shed. It will save time and energy and frustration.

The Case With The Eggs

Eggs are the other great casualty to raccooning at Mezzacello. I have this psychopathic belief that I CAN carry six eggs in my hand and carry on a conversation is ASL at the same time. It is an insane conceit and I have lost so many eggs over the years (including because I put them in my pocket) that is is shameful.

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Eggs and The CSO

I can remember going to a symphony performance a few years back. I decided to check on the animals and make sure they were safe as I wouldn’t be back before dark. Along the way, I checked the nesting boxes where I found an egg.

Rather than leave the egg behind, I stuck it into my suit pants pocket and rushed out, washed my hands and took a Lyft to the Ohio Theater. I made it all the way through the first half of the symphony, but when the final movement before intermission filled me with passion, I jumped up to clap and yell BRAVO and that eggshell smashed in my pants pocket.

This Is NOT Good

Let me tell you, that is NOT a feeling you ever want to feel – especially at a public and semi-formal event like the symphony. Cold and viscous and rapidly showing up as an embarrassing and messy wet in the front of your pants. What do you say? Oh it’s just an egg I randomly shoved in my suit pocket.

This is one of the things I love most about living on a farm in downtown Columbus — access to food, mission, purpose and culture. In this case the two collided in very regrettable ways.

Jim Bruner

Opportunity For Growth

Luckily for me I have been an awkward dork most of my life. I excused myself, ran to the restroom, grabbed some paper towels and a handful of soap and emptied my pocket and cleaned my pants. This is also why I do not spend a lot of money on the Brunerform.

That was a pretty significant lesson for me. I get friends constantly sending me Facebook Shares of crochet egg aprons, but it’s not the tool, it’s my instinct to get as much done as possible that is the issue. I have all the tools, just not enough wisdom.

So I can say with 100% confidence that I do NOT put eggs in my pockets anymore. I did learn that lesson as well as keeping 20 disposable/reusable bowls on hand at the coop to always put eggs into. But I am still raccooning and trying to carry tools and balance a bowl full of eggs.

That Other Kind of Raccooning

Ultimately this post is therapy for me. Talking about issues and addressing the need for growth and change is an important step in personal growth. This is my public statement that in 2022 I NEED to change this raccooning behavior, and yelling at myself isn’t cutting it.

As for the other other kind of raccooning, I have built so many systems here at Mezzacello from discarded things left in the alley! LOL! Yes, I am always raccooning to find things that will help me in my mission. If you see something you think I might could use, let me know. I will share eggs that I do not keep in my pockets with you.


  • Buczynski James

    We thrive despite the cold!

  • Buczynski James

    You are a masterful communicator, Jim.
    Always feel like I’m huddling
    Round a coleman lantern
    When I read your blog.
    And you elucidate rather intricate interfaces of energy BEAUTIFULLY.

    Yes, you are indeed
    BLESSED and have managed to extend a blessing in ALL THIS.
    To my lights, THAT is GRACE made manifest on North 20th Street, in Columbus, Ohio –and down the river to Pittsburgh too.

    Well done good and faithful servant.

    Take a bow on your award too
    B R A V O

    • A

      Thank you, Jim. You are in fact a very kind and gracious friend to Mezzacello! I hope all is well in Pittsburgh!

  • Buczynski James

    What you G I F T us HERE, Jim, is A DAILY BLINKING NEON MEMO:
    small scale
    Make time to learn about yourself

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