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This weekend was the epitome of why I love when summer begins its slow shift to fall: bright blue skies, a crispness to the mornings and dew-laden grasses, soft breezes, and shifting clouds-to-sun, leaving you packing an extra cardigan and scarf for dinner out on a patio somewhere, just in case the air turns a little chilly.

I am so glad, then, that I spent the entire weekend outside. Yesterday, I tended the chickens and the garden, then headed over to Big City Farms Indianapolis to volunteer my time (and pick the brain of farmer Matthew). The location was idyllic, if you’re thinking of the quintessential urban plot: bordered on one side by a major highway, on the other by a very active train track, and overlooking both an old factory that now houses an antique mall AND the buildings of downtown Indy. Matthew runs a CSA and supplies a handful of restaurants via seven different urban plots scattered about the city.

I learned a lot in just three hours and really hope I am able to continue volunteering (and, from a purely selfish standpoint, LEARNING) with him. A very cool guy running a very cool enterprise. Actually, I think he should just hire me, but you know… that’s just me. I may just continue whoring myself out as free labor to the various people doing awesome things here in town until one of them decides I’m so totally indispensable. :)

This morning, I planted some cover crops in our open beds…
20120916. Platning cover crops, drinking coffee.

I spied on some of our fennel-loving caterpillars…
20120912. Caterpillar and fennel.

And then it was time for the Tour de Coops, which we had originally planned on being a part of, but pulled out after our various chicken woes this summer. We met some lovely chickens, though, including Gumbo and Chimichanga:

20120916. Tour de Coops. Kicking it with Gumbo and Chimichanga.

And this lovely, who lived in a wildlife-certified sanctuary (and the only spot on the tour who required booties to protect their girls… way to go!):
20120916. Tour de Coops.

Chickens? What chickens? This was the house that was a wildlife sanctuary (I’m totally botching the correct nomenclature, but whatevs). I want to channel their overall look in our backyard.
20120916. Tour de Coops. Chickens? What chickens?

We also totally coveted this detached screened in-porch/chicken coop (they converted the back half into chicken space):
20120916. Tour de Coops.

We were also reminded if, nothing else, chickens have personality out the yin-yang.
20120916. Tour de Coops.

This gal was nice and cozy amongst my biosecurity shoes.
20120916. Tour de Coops.

Unfortunately, all my outdoor time this weekend meant my own chickens didn’t get much time out in the yard. That had to be rectified this evening.
20120914. All the chickens.

Way to go, weekend! You were an awesome one.

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