Indy Rezone Update

I really appreciate Sherri for gathering the information and keeping up on this. I am posting for her to reach more people. Many have thought this has died. IT HAS NOT My personal opinion is that the powers behind Rezone want to slip this under the table and get it passed ASAP. In the meetings I have attended there has been few in favor of the rezoning efforts. Most homesteaders and back yard flock and animal owners are adamantly opposed to it. 

Can you please spread this Indy Rezone Update? Thanks. 
The time to act is NOW!  The Economic and Metropolitan development committee will “discuss” Indy Rezone for the third and quite possibly last time this next Monday Sept. 21. at 5:30, Room 260 of the City County building. 
Why is discuss in quotes?  Because so far there has been little to no actual discussion.  July 27, Committee Chair Leroy Robinson made it clear that they really didn’t want any comments that day, they were just introducing the proposal. Aug. 31, the meeting began at 5:30, at 8:39 when they finally got to Indy Rezone (the last topic to be discussed), most people has already left, including many of the councilors on the committee AND they said we needed to be out of the building (a school) by 9:00, or 9:10 at the latest. Oh, and did I mention before discussion happened there was a presentation?
Honestly, I am tired, frustrated and discouraged.  I’m just a homeschooling mom.  I don’t blog – I don’t even have a facebook account so I most certainly don’t have a following and I don’t have much influence on anyone other than my family. It seems like Indy Rezone is an inevitability. Most people have no idea it is happening or that there will be MANY additional zoning regulations or they just don’t care. At the meetings there have been LOTS of people opposing other items on the agenda, but hardly any with concerns over Indy Rezone. 
 Once again, I ask, “How in the world does creating more ordinances on Urban farming make us more sustainable?”. Why does an Urban garden on an abandoned lot need soil testing? Why must it be officially registered with the city or have 36 inch high fences– and what inner city neighborhoods have the money to do those things?  That is one example.
Another example?  You WILL NOT be able to have Guineas or Turkeys. You are limited to Chickens, Ducks, Quail and pigeons and can only have 12 unless you get a special license. You will be limited to 8 rabbits. NO intact male goats or sheep, and you can only have 3-4 depending on lot size. 
The thing I have wanted to say at these meetings and have yet to be able to say – Many ordinances are petty and restrictive and limited in their ability to be enforced. Such as (drum roll) Indy Rezone.  Do you know the only time code enforcement comes? When someone complains!! If you have an ornery complaining neighbor they will be in your neighborhood often. 
The new projected date for Indy Rezone to go into effect is April 1, 2016 – to see how you can find out more about Indy Rezone scroll down to the end. 
Two main points of action:
1. Attend the committee meeting Mon. Sept. 21 at 5:30 PM in Rm 260 -and if at all possible be willing to speak – you may only have 2 minutes – arrive early if possible and make sure you sign the list saying you want to speak. Even if you come late and don’t get on the list, you should be able to speak but it is good for them to have a starting place for the number of people interested in speaking. 
2. E-mail and /or call the counselors on the committee ASAP, let them know why you are unhappy.  It seems like the best way to hope it will be at least scanned through is not a running paragraph, but a numbered list of your objections. The contact info below is from 
Leroy Robinson – Chair – (317)329-0923–
Will Gooden 317-319-4398
Mary Moriarty Adams 317-359-6940
Note presentations from the previous 2 committee meetings and  scroll down to bottom of page for the livestock license link 
  1. Agricultural uses, Farmers Market, Garden as Primary use (Pg. 483-486)
  2. Personal Garden, Personal Livestock (pgs. 526-528)
  3. Personal Livestock License Draft:
  4. The only thing that would be considered “Grandfathering in” what you currently have/are doing- Applications and Nonconformities begins pg. 118.
We will try to answer any questions to the best of our ability!
Sherri – (but I will be without internet til Monday – a true retreat so hubby may be a better bet!!)

DIY Rabbit tracor

To give our buns more open air time, exposure to fresh greens, we decided to make a rabbit tractor. So far, they have all spent time in it and loved being out in the open. This will eventually be used to house the grow outs until freezer camp day. I took several designs I saw and combined what I liked, and used materials I had available. If you click on the images you can enlarge them for more details.

I had a small section of chain-link fence left over from another project. This looked like a good base, and size for the tractor.

We had some extra tubs laying around. This looked good to make a hiding hole, shade for them.

Using a jigsaw I cut a small opening into one side.

Left over 1×3 lumber from the demo of the office (the inside of our tiny house). I chose an A frame to minimize materials needed, and weight. And I only had 2 rolls of wire and didn’t want to go to store. The frame is screwed together with deck screw we had from another project. The base is made of treated 2x4x8. Left over from building the greenhouse attached to the building.  I happen to have 10 feet of chain link fence, and the 2×4 was 8 feet long. Bonus, no cutting.


2 rolls of left over 1/2″x1″ welded wire. This was going to be a grow out pen in the coop, but we liked the tractor idea better. The wire is stapled to the frame.

Because I was working alone, and needed to stretch the chain-link tipping the tractor on edge was the easiest thing to do.

This is metal fastening tape, found in the plumbing section.  I use this stuff all over the place. Works great. It is woven between the chain-links and secured to the bottom of the tractor frame. This way I can move rabbits and everythign without ever having to get them out. It also prevents them from digging holes, and protection from predators.

I hinged the whole side of the tractor. This allows easier access to the rabbits inside. If I opened from one end, someone (not me) would have to crawl in there to get rabbits.

The door is kept closed with bungee cords connected to the bottom chain links and the wire mesh on the sides. It is tight enough that the rabbits or predators cannot open it. The pet litter box is actually a waterer.  I drilled the bottom and made a shelf for it to sit on.


The hole in the bottom is connected to rabbit nipples (tubing, connectors, and nipples available though Amazon)


I had all the materials on hand, and made do with what was available. If I had to make it again and buying materials it would probably cost around $60-80 and that is a high estimate. You can scrounge materials from various places or buy used materials.


Lumber can be from used pallets = free

Cubbie can be made from Rubbermaid containers from goodwill  <$3 Goodwill. You can also find hinges at goodwill, Habitat for Humanity Restore. or asset Recycling.

Instead of watering nipples you can use watering dishes/bowls/tupperware/etc. = free

Wire may need to be purchased, but if not overnighting rabbits can use chicken wire. Check craigslist.

Many places like Habitat, and Asset Recycling will have sections of chain-link. you really don’t need it, but we will be overnighting the rabbits in it, and ease of moving them.


Home remedies

Here are some remedies we have tried at home. Each recipe has been proven for different applications. Disclaimer we are not doctors or medical practitioners and you should consult your own doctor before using. We can only say we have used these recipes and have worked for us as a family.


Skin care – This recipe has been used for a variety of applications such as diaper rash, heat rash, minor burns, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, applied to kids lips who have a habit of licking or sucking top lips.  We used this for raw noses during cold season.


Petroleum jelly

Lavender essential oils

Warm jelly to liquid state about ½ cup jelly

Add lavender essential oil  about 20 drops mix well, place in small containers with tight lid (small Tupperware) and allow to cool. Apply mixture as needed. Do not use on deep wounds or severe burns.


Poison Ivy treatment  – Both my wife and I are susceptible to poison ivy. Once afflicted with the rash 1-2 treatments or 2-3 days should clear it right up.

In a pint jar add apple cider vinegar, Lavender oil, tea tree (20 drops each), Shake well, store tight jar away from light, apply with cotton ball or Q-tip 1-2 times a day.


Equal parts by wt feverfew, lemon balm, peppermint herbs in pint jar (we filled the jar loosely)

Cover with 100 proof vodka, shake every day for 2 weeks, strain and place in jar away from light

¼ teaspoon in liquid every ½ hr until gone, not exceed 2 teaspoons in one setting, may be habit forming in that if used regularly for long enough, once you stop using it, you may develop a migraine.

Clover as living mulch, rabbit poop, and some lessons learned

Just a couple of topics covered today; Using clover as a living mulch, rabbit poop collection system, automatic watering system, massive rainfall in the Midwest, and some related news.

We have been busy with another site as it is related to our activities we do on our little homestead. Upon moving to this small little rural town of 267 we thought all our practices and livestock would be just fine. After all, our neighbors had chickens, we are miles and miles from urban areas, it is a farming community, there are horses in town, we thought sheep were in town as well. Low and behold the town has an ordinance prohibiting chickens. After offering to help the town write a more updated ordinance, more inclusive (it was written at least 30 years ago), even offering to put together a website, our offers were ignored and the town council seemed to make us public enemy number one. We made it our mission to educate the town’s people who seemed to live in constant fear, who were kept in the dark about ordinances, laws, what was going on in the town, and even what their rights were. We are now publishing town council meetings online, put the ordinances online, put relative information online and made it FREE to the people. Since that wasn’t good enough, we are now also running for town council seats so that the HOA style mentality can be replaced with a more libertarian stance. Not really an excuse for lack of publication here, but does tell you what we have been up to. Try to change the things you can, and if that doesn’t work, be the change you want to happen. We needed to stop complaining and take action. Knowledge is power.

On a more farm note, this year we had some experimental garden beds where we used clover as a cover crop, and living mulch. We used dutch white clover. So far the results have been very positive and I think we are going to expand into larger areas. The clover only grows about 4 inches high, so any plants taller than that have done very well. They are bringing much needed nitrogen into the soil. It appears that the clover has also choked out many of the seeds as it is a thick blanket across the soil. We did till this particular bed as noting had ever been planted in the area and we wanted to break thinks up. This also has been an unusually wet season and normally I would think the think clover would have kept moisture in the soil. I really cannot make that claim as everything has had rain, and cannot really tell a different in the clover bed vs. non clover.

In our current animal enclose we are housing chickens, ducks, and rabbits. The guardian goose seems to think it is a dog or human and refuses to interact with the other birds. She lives inside for the moment. In our rabbit area, our breeders are in cages and are suspended about eye level and are in a U shape. Each rabbit has their own cage, roughly 2 ½’ x 3’. There is 4 foot space between the rabbits and the ground. We have been using deep litter (straw) in their area as well as the duck/chicken area. We are needing grow out pens for a future meat rabbits. The initial idea was to put them under the breeders, but then how to keep the waste off the meat rabbits? I had some old EDPM liner from a pond laying around and fashioned a trough/roof for the meat rabbits. In theory it should have allowed the pellets (poop) to roll off to the back, and same with urine. It didn’t work. Because of the weigh, and I didn’t secure it well enough the poop, urine, un eaten pellets, greens, and hay all dropped into the “diverter” and collected in one pool. That was a stinky nasty mess. Lesson learned, make sure the liner is taught. Once we install the meat rabbit gage, and clean it up a bit I will post a video of how we set everything up.

While still on rabbits, I have a 275 gal auto watering system. It means I do not have to fill bottles every day, they always have a water supply, and I do not have frozen waterers in winter. So I thought. Usually when I go and feed the rabbits I also make sure the water is still flowing by a quick push on one of the rabbit nipples. It has been hot, they have not been eating as much, and my wife fed them for a few days. I never told her about checking the nipples to see if water is still flowing. One day we bring our doe into breed with the buck, and he is just not doing his job. While waiting, and waiting, and waiting I check the nipples, no water! Went to check things out, and started trouble shooting. After about 10 minutes, we figured out the pump that recirculates the water had pulled something into the line and it had become clogged about half way through the 100 ft of tubing. Using the hose we were able to backflow and flush the clog out. Lesson learned, while it may seem intuitive, and repetitive task, always have someone follow you though farm chores. What you say and what you do may be two different things. This lesson was repeated when helping on a friend’s farm. He knows the electric fence is ALWAYS on and well, assumed I did too. NOT the case! Lesson learned there, assume all fences are electrified unless told or tested otherwise.

More on Indy ReZone

Reposting for Sherri

The Indianapolis CIty Council has sent Indy Rezone to committee – specifically the Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee. Their next meeting is Monday July 27 at 5:30 in room 260 of the City Council building.  This is where there will be discussion and debate. Here is where the rubber meets the road and where a large presence is needed. This will be a critical meeting. 
Monday night (July 13) the “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” had a large group at the City Council meeting.  They expected their Special Resolution for the Bill of Rights to pass, instead it was sent to committee – the same committee and day that will hear comments about Indy rezone.  They were not happy and will have an even larger group at the committee meeting. This is a critical turning point for them, and for Indy rezone. If there are not people there showing opposition to Indy Rezone, the absence of people will speak volumes. 
Right now what is needed is twofold: Come to the meeting if at all possible (even if you have to get there late) and contact the councilors on the committee via e-mail and telephone prior to the meeting, so that they know there is opposition/concern from more than just a handful of people. Here is the city webpage with the names of the committee members. Open each councilors page for their contact info:  
We already know that Zach Adamson is not happy with this whole thing.  We are working on talking to all of the committee members and hope you will too.
One of the many issues: All there is, is  a draft for the livestock license – too many uncertainties that could be changed after this debacle is passed. 
There is so much wrong in Indy rezone, I could write a book (and that is without having read most of this 700+ page document!). There is a lot of confusing, unclear information in it. And in the words of someone working for Indy Rezone,who helped write it “It is Flawed”. (She said this several times at the Metropolitan Development Commision meeting.)
scroll down to bottom of page for the livestock license link
If you would like a searchable Word document you can access that here: 
You may be surprised at what you find when searching for specific things. 
If you are like me, you have a real hard time figuring out how many more restrictions make us more sustainable. I realize there is no way to make everyone happy.  But why in the world would we pass something that we already know is so flawed?
Feel free to contact myself or my husband:

Animal care-husbandry & Permaculture

Recently it came to my attention that some people believe our animal care and farm practices are dirty and unkept. 1st before making assumptions you might want to get facts straight, learn what you are talking about before opening your mouth, and lastly ask us, we would be glad to tell you all about it.

We will educate the uneducated and ignorant. Grass should not be cut 1/4 inch above the dirt. It is very unhealthy, longer grass survives drought better, and longer grass will hold more water in both roots and green tissue. The ability to hold water has been important lately.

What one person views as weeds is actually medicinal plants we grow for FREE , do not require a prescription, doesn’t have nasty side effects. It is also food for our animals. This is why we do not spray any chemicals on our property.

We let grasses grow longer because it has more nutrients for animals, reducing our dependence on buying processed feed. Ask any rancher using grass fed techniques.

We clean our combined rabbitry and coop every 3 months. We use deep litter bedding inside to absorb and hold wastes. After 3 months it moves out to the compost pile where it is turned into soil for future gardens. Properly managed neither have an odor. I have the training and experience on both. Due to the excess rain and poor stormwater drainage in our area, some of this bedding became wet. we immediately changed and dried it out once we were able.

We house our rabbits and poultry together to harness heat in the winter, and the chickens reduce any worms or parasites, as well as till the litter naturally and help it all break down faster.

We even installed fans this summer to keep both rabbits and poultry cool, and help keep air moving in the coop.

All of our animals have names. When the chicken went past their prime for laying, they remained and are still productive, just not as many eggs a week. We did not butcher them. They still eat bugs, they still turn the compost, they still have a name, and they still process food waste from our kitchen. When old age finally takes them, we will look at replacing them.

For more on chickens read my post on In defense of the back yard flock

We used to give tours, and will do it again soon. We are still working on many things, since moving in March, and because of Avian flu we do not want additional traffic if we can help it. We had to start a great many plants and systems all over, so we would like to showcase more than just concepts, but actual practice.

To make sure our rabbits had access to water all winter long we made a rabbit watering system that does not freeze. Our rabbits (4) have  access to 275 gallons of water 24/7. This is our system from Indy but we rebuilt here in Wingate

We have had Animal control on our property (for a neighbors issue, not ours) and were commended on how well we took care of our animals. We have had a vegans, and staff of animal control and also tell us how well we take care of our animals.

What one person sees as “unsightly” another sees it as a 40% reduction in a grocery bill of all natural all organic food. Some people see it as beautiful and natural. Being ignorant and failing to educate yourself is ignorant in itself. Singling one person or a group of people out because you dislike something is called discrimination. Using position of power to go after that group is called harassment. Both of which can land someone in court. Since some people are ignorant of what I mentioned above I just thought they may also need some education on the latter as well.

New site for Wingate, Indiana

Since we moved from Indianapolis we have found our new small town somewhat lacking of available information to what we were accustomed to in Indianapolis. Where there was a need I filled the gap for both ourselves, and to better educate and share with my new town. Seemed a bit of a waste to just put information on there, so I opened it up to classified for the town, idea generation, living history of the town, and FREE webpages for any business in town. So, anyone following us in and around the Wingate area there is a new site All of this is FREE to the townspeople and surrounding area.

Growing and teaching sustainable and healthy food production