urban farmer

11 08, 2017

Mystery Chickens on Miller Farm

By |2017-08-10T08:57:03-05:00August 11th, 2017|Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

When I went outside to let the chickens out this morning, I discovered something very strange lying in the back yard…I thought they were kind of cute until I read the caution:  EMITS SHOWERS OF SPARKS.  This could prove dangerous to our six dachshunds who cannot read and chew on everything.

I quickly picked up the mysterious chickens and put  them out of reach.

Then I began to wonder – where did they come from?  I know we have a reputation as chicken people, but I’m not so sure these girls would play well with others.

How did they get there?  Who put them there?  Were they meant to entertain or harm?

I’ve spent recent afternoons watching reruns of the detective show “Monk.”  Most certainly he could solve the case of “The Mystery Chickens.”  If only he were real.

8 02, 2013

Puddle jumping, bee stings, and dachshunds

By |2013-02-08T07:15:29-06:00February 8th, 2013|Friday on the Miller Farm, Guest blogger, Miller Farm Friday, Uncategorized|6 Comments

A guest blog from Chicken Wrangler Sara

Bella, dachshund chicken watcher extraordinaire, has keep life interesting around the urban farm for the past two weeks. 

First, a bee  stung her on the foot. This would not have been a big problem except that she somehow acquired Beekeeper Brian’s allergy to bees. Rachel took her to the vet where they gave her Benadryl and made sure there were no other symptoms.

Bella slept off the effects of her bee sting encounter in her favorite chair.bella2

Then a few days later, I was at lunch with Beekeeper Brian when Rachel called asking me to meet her at the vet ASAP. Bella was shaking all over and drooling – symptoms that looked like a seizure. 

Since Marv, our big dog, has suffered from seizures most of his life, Rachel is well acquainted with doggie seizures. I left immediately, but a road closure cause somewhat of a delayed.

In my directionally challenged world, another (read different) way is always longer and in the wrong direction. I only know one way to get places, and since the road I knew to go down was blocked, I had to find another way. And, of course, I had to stop for every red light along the way. 

I desperately wanted to get to the vet’s office in case something happened to Bella. While Beekeeper Brian and I were in Colorado last summer, Rachel had to take our chocolate lab to the vet for the last time. I didn’t want her to be in that position again with Bella.

When I finally rushed into the office, Rachel and Bella were sitting in the front room waiting for me to pay.

Bella was fine. The vet determined she swallowed a bee (I added another verse to the song – I know a dumb dachshund who swallowed a bee).

With the Benadryl, Bella slept soundly in her favorite chair.bella2

She now has her own bottle of Benadryl in the kitchen cabinet.

This week she has managed to avoid the bees, thankfully. She did run under our bed instead of into her kennel one night. We could not coax her out until the next morning. Never did figure out what that was all what.

Then yesterday I walked the dogs after it had rained all morning, Bella managed to find every puddle to walk through. Her puddle jumping reminded me of my small children days – the puddles as well as the frantic trips to the doctor.

I’m afraid while the children outgrew their frantic trips to the doctor and puddle jumping, Bella will never outgrow this stage. Fortunately, she is very cute and so we tolerate her idiosyncrasies.


Don’t you agree?

5 10, 2012

Miller Farm Friday – Wax Bees and Bananas

By |2012-10-05T08:17:27-05:00October 5th, 2012|Miller Farm Friday, Uncategorized|2 Comments

For an urban city farm, the Miller Farm produces a wide variety of products. I love the eggs. And, the honey Beekeeper Brian extracts is equally tasty.

Chicken Wrangler email today is about the bees on the farm.

Today has been a bit busier than a normal. I added blood donation to my already full errand list.

 When I returned to the Farm, I discovered an interesting object on my kitchen counter. 

It is a two liter bottle (which I had saved at Beekeeper Brian’s request) which is about a quarter full of clear liquid with what appears to be a banana peel in it.

 This last part was confirmed by the discovery of both ends of the banana peel in the sink. Now being married to Brian for 25 years, I know this is something he has done.

I suspect it has something to do with the bees. Just in case you need a little humor to lighten your day,  any other guesses?

I’ll let you know what this contraption is when I find out.

Then the next morning this Chicken Wrangler email arrived.

A moth trap! 

 Apparently there is a type of moth that takes up residence in bee hives and greatly hinders honey production. They are extremely attracted to the clear liquid in the two liter bottle which is actually a mixture of sugar, water and honey.

If you look closely, you can see the moth mite on the bee’s neck.

The banana peel puts off some gas thing as it ferments that is extremely unattractive to the bees so they are not tempted to join the moths in their final swim.

The banana must ferment for two days so tomorrow the  bottle will go out back near the bee hives. I’ll report back on the success of the “two liter bottle/banana peel moth trap.”


A hive destroyed by wax moths. Note the larva in the honeycombs.
Learn more about the wax moth and bees: http://eberthoney.com/honeybeeblog/blog4.php/main/?paged=12

Now I am sure we will all sleep better having solved this mystery. 

~~Sara – who never ceases to be amazed at the wonders her husband discovers

I, too, am amazed at the things Beekeeper Brian can do. Some blog we’ll talk about his fly-fishing skills or his woodcrafting bowls or his dulcimer building skills. A multi-tasking beekeeper-farmer that Brian.

YOUR TURN: Ever found something unfamiliar on your kitchen counter?