June 29, 2012 by urbangentle
I finally got my hands on a couple of books by Eliot Coleman, the famous four season farmer from Maine, USA. One of the books fell open to a section on raising ducks. “Everyone” in Chicago is doing chickens, many are starting to do goats too. But ducks, now that is novel. I remember when my parents moved to a certain SW Chicago suburb there was a Polish women who raised ducks in her backyard. The neighbors had a fit and wanted her to get rid of them. She declared them her pets, I remember. I don’t remember the outcome of the case. But I am thinking this might be the way to go in my yard. Chickens are noisy. Duckies are not. They also lay a lot more eggs then chickens. They don’t scratch. They eat all garden pests. Apparently, because they are not wild, they don’t fly South either.
I also called up a school parent friend who, until last year, ran her own coffee shop in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. I asked her to mentor me in my endeavor to open a neighborhood coffee/ice cream shop. She said job one was finding a location with a lot of foot traffic. She also gave me names of suppliers, tips on selecting brands and pitfalls with employees.
So much waiting. I am living with family until my house is available. My daughter, who usually does not want to help me at all, is actually revved up to get into the yard and clean it up. When we visited the tenants we saw that gardening was not their thing. The lease stated the tenants would be responsible for landscaping, apparently this doesn’t include the garden beds. The weeds have grown taller than the plants.