Archive for October, 2010

Farmer Margie Arrested! Driving Incognito Farm Truck

Late this morning, I was tooling along Killian Drive in our farm truck, enjoying the pretty scenery and gorgeous weather, accompanied by BHF intern Liberty. We were headed to Fairchild Tropical Garden to pick up the leftovers from our wildly successful Edible Garden Day weekend.

 Along came Pinecrest Police officer Blineau, who took one look at the truck and pulled us over. Officer B proceeded to inform me that I was committing an arrestable misdemeanor offense, by

 ‘not displaying the required commercial markings in violation of Miami Dade County Ordinance which requires that all commercial vehicles have identification signs on both sides of the vehicle with the name, address, telephone number and occupational license of the owner in letters and numbers larger than 3″ in height’.

Very confused, since we are not a business (like a handyman or plumber) with an occupational license, I explained that we are a farm, and told him where we were headed and what we were doing. He said we were on the road, transporting product, and therefore in violation.

He then took my ID and registration, requested I show him the back of the truck (empty except for a pallet jack), and asked me things like my social security number, how much I weighed, and whether my teeth were ‘normal’ (I kid you not!). Thinking he was writing me a ticket, I asked him what that had to do with anything. He informed me that he was filling out the arrest form, and I would be arrested on the spot, written up, and released, provided I promised to appear in court.

Liberty and I waited in the truck for over an hour, while he filled out the paperwork and, I guess, looked up my (non-existent) extensive criminal and traffic records. Then he waited for the sergeant to arrive to sign the paperwork. Finally, he asked me to get out of the truck,  fingerprinted me (after reminding me yet again that this was an arrestable offense) and asked me to sign (wait, no!  actually, he told me I had no choice but to sign, or he would cart me off to jail). Then he gave me my copy of the “Complaint/Arrest Affidavit”, and advised me to get the signs put on the truck before I received the summons for the court date, since that “might help me out”. I told Officer B he would have been of more help had he simply informed me and issued me a warning, whereupon he repeated (for about the fifth time), that he could bring me in to jail, but instead he was just arresting me right there and releasing me on the spot. I thanked him for destroying my day. He thought nothing of it – after all, arresting citizens is a routine part of his job.

Congratulations, Pinecrest PD! Officer B should be rewarded for keeping the Village safe from dangerous criminals like myself! Gee, I might be running an illegal nanny delivery service to those upscale Pinecrest homes – or maybe I’m carrying contraband construction materials to the very same homes. No, wait! maybe…those organic heirloom tomato starts are really drug plants in disguise…

Get your Heirloom Tomato plants this weekend!

…at Fairchild’s Edible Garden Festival. Look for our booth – we’ll be surrounded by a sea of baby tomato plants waiting for you to take them home. We have 66 varieties of all shapes, colors and sizes-over 2500 plants!   $3 each; buy 5, get another one free; buy 15, get 5 more free.

Requiem for a rooster

George Washington died yesterday. He was a free soul, easygoing but solicitous of his female companions. My daughter named him a few years ago – don’t really know how he earned his name, but it was his very own.

We’ve had trouble with predators in the past, and our hens are therefore housed in chicken tractors (moveable, bottomless pens), to help protect them. However, we have a few ‘wild’ chickens, mostly roosters, who live free on the farm. In order to survive, they have to have a bit of that wildness more commonly found in the smaller breeds. Survivors tend to be quick on their feet (and nearly impossible to catch!). Their little birdbrains have to maintain honed isntincts to keep them from being caught and eaten. If they’ve managed to survive to adulthood, they usually live for a few years.

I’m not quite sure how old George Washington was, but he was at least 3 or 4. He was beautiful white with black specks scattered here and there in his feathers, and he was on the short side. He carried himself beautifully. I enjoyed watching him strut around, checking on his ‘girls’, going from one chicken tractor to another one. I thought I had a picture of him somewhere, but couldn’t find it…

George would show up at the cat food bowl on the kitchen steps, several times a day, looking for tidbits. I think cat food is one of the roosters’ favorite treats. He would jockey with the cats and the other roosters, Crazy Chicken 1, Crazy Chicken 2, and Rover, for position at the bowl. 

I’m guessing a pack of dogs, or perhaps a fox, came in the night, flushed him out of his sleeping perch, and attacked. I saw piles of feathers here and there, and much later in the day, our farm interns found what was left of him off in a corner, near the road.

We’ve lost a personality. George Washington will be missed.


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