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Sounds of the Urban Farm

By Audrey Pavia, Urban Farm Contributing Editor

Monday, February 28, 2011

Urban farming community

Photo by Audrey Pavia

My urban farming community boasts a mixture of sounds, from barnyard noises to the hum of city traffic.

My friend Michelle boards her Quarter Horse, Teddy, at a stable about a mile from my house. Michelle lives kind of far away, in a part of L.A. that doesn’t have a lot of places to board horses. So she keeps Teddy near me, where we have plenty of trails to ride, and comes out to see him two or three times a week.

In between her visits, I go to the stable to take Teddy out of his stall. I put him in a big paddock and let him stretch his legs and run around if he wants to. 

One night this week, I got to Teddy’s barn at dusk and put him in the paddock. The barn was a ghost town—not a human to be seen. I thought it would be a good time to try to meditate. I sat on a chair next to the paddock, closed my eyes and began to concentrate on my breathing.

As my mind became still, I started to notice an incredible symphony of sounds all around me. I first heard the voices of some sheep bleating a few houses away. Two ducks began to softly quack at the farm next door. I could hear horses munching their hay in the stalls nearby, and a dog barked a couple of blocks away. A mule brayed far in the distance, and a rooster crowed.

Behind all these sounds typical of a rural community was the steady din of car tires on asphalt. The main street in town was only a couple of blocks away, and it was rush hour. Car after car was whooshing by, just to remind me that I wasn’t really out in the country, but on an urban farm. It seemed strange to hear all these barnyard sounds and traffic at the same time, but that is the amazing reality of an urban farming community.

My peaceful meditation was broken by puffs of air on my face. Teddy had decided he’d been out of his stall long enough and wanted to get back to his food. He was standing over me at the fence, blowing on me to get my attention. 

I reluctantly opened my eyes and let the sights around me dilute the sounds I had taken in. As I led Teddy back to the barn, I felt a wave of gratitude that I’m able to live in such an amazing place. I have all the benefits of city living—good restaurants, great shopping and lots of employers—along with the companionship of a bevy of barnyard creatures. It’s the absolute best of both worlds.

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This is a wonderful post. I'm new to the idea of urban farming and am considering giving it a try when I move to Chicago in the summer (I live in Boulder currently). I just wrote an article about urban chicken farming in Denver, I'll include the link and I'd love for you to check it out! Thanks again for this post.

René

http://www.elephantjournal. com/2011/03/a-pet-that-feeds-you--ren-cousineau/
René Cousineau, Boulder, CO
Posted: 3/7/2011 11:05:42 AM
So many times folks are too busy to stop and just listen to the sounds of life around them. My house in the Urban City has the same low din of car traffic that comes from the Interstate highway just a half mile of city travel away. Sirens from the dispatch of rescue or fire truck from the station just a few blocks away break the silence daily. Behind it all is the sounds of birds chirping or the children at play from the school recess or from organized softball when a great play is made. These are all sounds that sooth the soul if the time is taken to listen.

Have a great listening day.
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 3/1/2011 6:38:44 AM

About the Blogger

Audrey Pavia

Audrey Pavia
Keeping farm animals in the city can be a real hoot. Follow freelance writer Audrey Pavia's adventures in Southern California with a yard full of urban livestock, including horses, chickens, a Corgi and an urban barn cat. She somehow manages all these silly critters while working full-time, with no one to help her but her husband, Randy, a born-and-raised New Yorker. And you thought "The Simple Life" was out there?

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