First chickens in East Cleveland in a while?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 01:49.

East Cleveland Chickens

In both areas of Cleveland's West Side where I've lived, I knew there were chickens and roosters nearby (some I saw, and some I heard), but I haven't come across any fowl life on the East Side of Cleveland, or in East Cleveland. I wonder if there are any other chickens in my part of town? There certainly were chckens on every property back when this was farmland, 100+ years ago.

My friends in Glenville and EC are all into the local foods planning for the neighborhood, and are interested in having some fresh eggs - they think the chickens are very cool. I expect this to be very popular.

They even like our bunnies (not for consumption).

The experience of the urban farmlife is nearly as positive for the body, soul and community as is better access to better food.

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bossy girl

 that partridge cochin is oNe bossy girl!

what a delight to see how happy they are - happy farming!

The rooster is the boss

The cochin may be biggest but the rooster is definitely the boss.

Thanks for raising such sweet birds - they seem happy to me.

Disrupt IT

Listen you all: I have a

Listen you all:

I have a plaque in my kitchen that says:  "The Rooster may rule the roost, but the hen rules the rooster."

oh they are!

 and they've been very spoiled (dining on my tomatoes, basil, sunflowers and pumpkins everyday!). they are all little loves.

Jerleen - so right on! and they lay the eggs!

you got it!

you got it!

Beautiful bunnies!  I love

Beautiful bunnies!  I love bunnies, and squirrels, and cats and birds - I love to feed the birds - I would love to live where I could have lots of animals. 

I know you all think I'm off

I know you all think I'm off my rocker half the  time and truth be known, I probably am. 

But this evening I went to visit my sister and we started talking about the conversations that go on via NEO.  I was telling her about the chickens, the rabbits, the canning and gardening exchanges. We also talked about the old tales and back in the day stories.  This brought us to the subject of Sam's gas station on Fairfield and Neil's "pink" station on Clark (owned by Gillota Fuels).  We were trying to remember exactly how long he had been there - go to be more than 20 years maybe 25.

During this nostalgic visit, we also got on the subject of helping Sam build up his sales and it brought us back to when gas stations gave out S & H Greenstamps.  Which provoked me to come home and take a look through a canister I had in the attic.  Would you believe it, I still have some S & H Greenstamps, some Gold Bond Stamps AND some JFG Coffee Coupons from more than 40 years ago.  Wonder if you could get more with them now?  I've sure been saving them long enough.

Somewhere I think I still have a wash cloth that I got out of Silver Dust washing powders back in the early 60's.  Remember when dishes came in Oats (oatmeal) and peanut butter came in glasses with Zoro and the Lone Ranger on the side.  Bazooka Bubble Gum had wrappers with funnies and point value that you could save and get toys with.  I think Mellow Cups still have points inside.  Dan river material was sold in packaged 4 yard dress lengths. 

I was a designer back then.  I didn't care how ugly it was I would wear it to school.  Sewed it with my hands and sometimes it would come apart and nearly fall off before I got home.  I would take it off, sew it back up a different style and wear it again.

Just some stuff that crossing my mind.






my mother

 made us eat puffed wheat and puffed rice for what seemed an eternity so she could get an earring and necklace set...i have the earrings now!

I still love puffed wheat -

I still love puffed wheat - but I did not like puffed rice.

The things we did.  Do you  remember whirlly gigs that came in cracker jacks?  Tell  kids to go play with a whirlly gig today and they would ask if you were insane.

Washing powders always had the prettiest towels, dish towels, wash cloths.  The ones I liked best were the state birds and flowers.  Once I saved and collected for about a year to get a wash cloth from each state so that I could make a quilt.  Sometimes you would get the same darn one three times in a row.  When that happened, you would always try for four so that you could have matching ones  for each corner. 


I've been thinking

I've been thinking .....sometimes that's not good, but anyway, I have been considering starting a quilting group and make it up sort of with old fashioned ideas.  I have a bag of old satin dresses (prom style) that I gathered up years ago and I want to use them to make a satin quilt. 

I think a quilting bee would be lots of fun and not only give ladies a project but it would also allow young girls the opportunity to learn how to sew and quilt.

We could shop out of thrift stores for clothes made out of old fabrics and collect rare buttons and lace and create pieces of art.  We could auction them off for charity or to help someone in need, etc.

Years ago I was involved with a group that made "baby bundles."  We'd make a baby quilt and then everybody would bring something for the baby and put it in the blanket and we would wrap the items up, pin the blanket closed with diaper pins and then give it to someone who had just had a baby. 

About 20 years ago, I met a little girl that lived in Africa - her parents were missionaries - but she loved to sew and fabrics in Africa were expensive - so I would gather pieces of pretty fabrics and threads and every so often send her a box.  Where they lived, their supplies and mail came by boat - so it would take sometimes two to three months before she actually got the material.  She was always so excited - she was about 11 years old at the time.  I don't know what happened, I guess she grew up - I finally lost contact with here.

quilting bees

sounds like a nice wintertime thing to do. too bad I can't sew. discovered stitch witchery and love it. does anyone make quilts using this iron on glue? (being funny here)

That the gist of the whole

That the gist of the whole thing.  You don't really have to know how to sew to piece a quilt.  If you can thread a needle and use a pair of scissors you can quilt. 

Winter time is great for quilting but I love it when I can take my machine out on the porch really early on a beautiful sunny day, turn on some good music and just sew all day. 

Or, take needle work out in the bright light - there's nothing like it.  It's therapy.  I have an old Singer treddle that is over a hundred years old and some times I push it out on the porch and peddle away. 


oatmeal glasses

 Jerleen, I remember the excitement of a new box of oatmeal and what treasure would be in it. I have a couple of the oatmeal glasses. I treasure them, use them a couple of times a year, and out them back before they get chipped. Don't know if they are worth anything other than the memories. ANd I do remember my Mom with dishtowels from flour sacks and I still try to buy dishtowels that may look like those. I am in heaven if I find an old pillowcase that could have been like one from my childhood. I don't remember Silver Dust. My mom always used Tide and I always had a rash that I thought was normal until I left home and used something different. Was Silver Dust  regional?

BTW, I turned out 3 pints of strawberry and 6 pints of peach jam. looks really pretty.


I broke open a jar of strawberry jam that I made. I made english muffins and kept staring at the peach and strawberry jams, knowing that I should wait until it snows before I open one. Then I did it anyway. Best strawberry jam I ever tasted. I will make more next year! Jerleen, thanks for the encouragement through my first successful jam making. 



I certainly would not get

I certainly would not get rid of the glasses.  I wish I still had some of ours but they did not make it. Of course, nobody thought to keep any - we were all too anxious to use them. 

I don't know if Silver Dust was regional or not.  I just know that it always had pretty towels, etc.

Oatmeal went through stages.  They would offer glasses, bowls, cups and saucers.  Do you recall that people down South slurps their coffee from a saucer and not from the cup.  Every once in awhile, if nobody else is around, I get the urge to do that and I indulge myself.

Now, the flour sacks came in handy for a lot of things.  They were just the right size for pillow cases, you usually had to buy two 25lb bags to get enough to make a blouse or a skirt.  They came in pretty floral colors, made beautiful aprons, fabric for quilts and the plain ones are the ones I learned to emborder on. 

When I was about six, my mom would take a picture out of a coloring book and use carbon paper to trace it onto the fabric and then showed me how to emborder following the outline.  I remember the first set- she helped me emborder a yellow duck on the edge.

You really sound southern now, you canned some pretty jellies and jams.  That was always a big thing in the South, "she cans the prettiest beans, or the prettiest jam I ever saw."  You know your were praised when somebody said your stuff was the prettiest.  What about passing people's houses when it was wash day and you'd hear, "boy, she hangs out the prettiest white diapers I've ever seen," or "just look at them pretty white sheets."  I just thought of something else, everybody did their wash (worsh) on Monday.  No matter who you were Monday was "worsh" day.  Everybody would be out bright and early with a big tub of water over a fire to get hot for doing the wash  - and that homemade lye soap.  I hated the smell of that stuff.   My mom and grandma used to make that nasty stuff by the tub full too and after it hardened cut it up in blocks.  It's a wonder we have any skin left.





Monday Red Beans and Rice

In New Orleans, Mondays are for wash and red beans and rice... like an old law so important even the restaurants comply.

Disrupt IT

I left the bean part out. 

I left the bean part out.  Monday was also their day to cook beans too, except it was pintos and they cooked this really big kettle full and we had the same thing every day until they were all gone.  There was a method to their madness- in the winter time, they heated the "worsh" water on the cook stove - so since they had to burn wood for that - they figured they might as well cook the beans at the same time - no wasting of wood or a good hot stove.

Everybody sat down and ate at the same time and there was no choices - it was always beans, fried taters and corn bread. Unless it was summer time and then we had garden vegetable.  But regardless, you still had beans, taters and corn bread.  The only time you got anything different was on Sunday.  For breakfast you had gravy and biscuits , biscuits and gravy every single day.


Not in my unreal NEO in my lifetime

I grew up in the early age of processed anyfood, in a processed Cleveland suburban society devoid of traditions, character or legacy of place. From earliest childhood memories, here at home in America, my breakfasts were the latest Saturday morning cereal - with cheap toys in the box - and then toaster pastry products and even breakfast drinks... and increasingly lunches and dinners were the latest processed food sensation advertised around mealtime news.

My home was better than many I knew and probably better than the current American norm  - we rarely had carryout food and most dinners were from scratch, and we had a salad with dinner every night - but I truly feel my life and times were cursed by the industrial food movement, that I will have more health problems as a result, that will shorten my life, and that it destroyed our environment and economy forever.

All of your slow food stories are wonderful, and bring memories of better lives I experieced along the way, with others who knew how to live well, and serve as wisdom in planning the future for my family.

Disrupt IT

Oh, we had some salad too -

Oh, we had some salad too - it was chicken's toe and crow's foot - picked out of the woods- cut up with green onions, salted  and hot fat-back grease poured on it.

gravy and biscuits

Yep, that is the way it was. Beans and taters too. Now people love to visit my Mom to experiences these "delicacies". It is so funny because this was the way that life was. Jerleen, I have a piece of lye soap that I will save for you. 

My mom talks about the making of lye soap with the leftover pork fat. Nothing went to waste. Of course. the head, the feet, the ears, tails, and all of that was eaten. Poor Suzie.

Yea and they made it right

Yea and they made it right on the stove or sometimes big wash tubs full out side.  Then cut it up in bars like regular soap and use it for all kinds of stuff - even put it in the wash water.

The made something called headsouse - I don't know what it was - remember the pork rinds made in the oven from fresh pork - they would put pieces of the hog skin in the oven and render the fat out - that also went into the soap.

I just bet your mom knows about 'groundhog grease' for curing the croop.  Every summer the hunters of the family would make sure to catch a big fat groundhog so the grease could be rendered out and saved in a canning jar right along with the rest of the medicine.  And if for some reason some mom was not fortunate enough to have her own grease, somebody would make sure she got a jar.  My mom would hold my nose and let my grandma put some of that stinking stuff down my throat.  They'd rub it on the bottoms of your feet and on your chest - man you'd stink for days - smell like an old greasy bear.  Then they'd bake the groundhog seasoned with some spice sticks from a spice tree to eat - the meat was very rich.





pork stuff

In my parts of the woods, we had headcheese and sousemeat. I can buy the sousemeat at Dave's for my Mom (who knows what's in it; she says whatever is left of the hog). It comes mild, hot and really hot. It is dense with meat and spices. The headcheese that I grew up with is the head and nose and extra stuff boiled into a gelantious mass that molded like cheese.

I don't think that we did the groundhog grease. We did the onions fried in lard and slapped on the chest when it was still really hot. The cure for croup. Then for the adults, there was moonshine cough syrup with rock candy and spices mixed together. It was drunk, not dosed out, so in a little bit, no pain was felt.

Did you grow up with a greens called "field creases" which is a weed that grows in the cornfields in February and is short lived? We start the conversation in January and talk about this through March. Someone gave us a can of it last year, so it is out there but not available in Cleveland.

We're probably talking about

We're probably talking about the same thing - it was made from the head of the hog and you're right, what ever was left over went in with all the spices and came out looking like ground sausage or something - I never ate any of that stuff, I did not like it.  As a matter of fact, I think my brother still has the old meat grinder (sausage mill) that they used to ground it up. 

Now we baked the onions and nailed them in the windows - or wore them around the neck.  You did not need deodorant or perfume - oh, everybody had moonshine - now if we were really sick and coughing a lot - they would take a spoonful of moonshine lite a match to it - i guess burning off the alcohol and put a dab of sugar in it and gave it to us for cough syrup.  Shit, nobody was sick, everybody stayed drunk. 

hog lights

Jerleen, did you eat these? They are called lights, and are the lungs of the hog. Apparently, they were in demand because a hog only had 2!

Oh yes - we ate the lights,

Oh yes - we ate the lights, the liver, the kidneys , the heart, nothing was left - you know a lot of people ate the mountain oysters too.

groundhog grease

Jerleen, my mom said that some people used this, but they mostly stuck with onions fried in lard. Tallow was rubbed on the feet on infants with croup and the feet warmed by the fire. Poor babies.

She also reminicsced about living with her grandmother and the sugar sack clothes. There was a lot of sugar sacks in the mountains due to all the moonshiners. They passed on the sugar sacks which were washed in tubs of hot water over a fire in the yard, lots of lye soap, until they were bleached all white then rinsed in a tub of water with bluing in it. We talked more about the beans on wash day, and her grandmother always washed over the yard fire unles there was snow, and cooked shab beans (full beaned green beans hung to dry). To perserve food in the summer, they placed the cooked food, milk, and butter on flat rocks that had been put in the spring which ran from the mountains. The icy water kept everything cold. Bears were not a problems as bears were hunted for food and tended not to come off the mountains.

Sugar sack clothing was scratchy. Her grandmother made the undergarments (petticoats) from the flour sacks as that was softer and sometimes they had factory cloth (that was what it was called) that was white, soft, and made the best pillows cases and sheets.

She also said that during times of economic depression, bears, squirrels, deer, and other game were scare and the land was not productive. Wonder if this reflects a lack of seeds.

Your mother sounds like she

Your mother sounds like she lived down the holler from us. 

The spring was always up in the holler a little bit.  Best refrigerator around.  We didn't have a in house refrigerater until I was about 10.  I remember the bluing.  But the dried green beans - were called fodder beans, shuk beans or mostly "leather brichies." 

It wasn't bears we had to worry about - it was dang snakes.  We had a gallon glass milk jar that for some reason the lid got lost or something but since they really needed to use it, my mom put a piece of cloth over the top and tied in on with sicgrass (spelling) string - and placed the jar on some rocks so that the top would not be under water- my brother and I were sent to the spring to get some milk and a darn black snake had managed to push the cloth aside and was half way down in that jar and had drunk it dry.  My brother and I took off screaming and running as hard as we could go.

There was also little bean sacks - made out of muslin I think. 

I've always wanted to write a book about all this stuff  - there is so much more.  We've only touched on a little bit of the days of yore.


years later

will find my mom still doing the wash, cooking the beans and all, on a Monday.

Debbie, I really don't think


I really don't think that this generation has any idea just how traditions were programed into our heads.  You just had two ways of doing things - the right way and the wrong way and if you didn't follow traditions, you were wierd.  The farther back into the hills you got, the more traditions there were and folks really expected them to be kept and carried out.

Sometimes, I catch myself laughing out loud at how silly some of these beliefs were - and I often am in awe that we survived the traditions.  Yet, somehow most of them made sense.  I guess being "practical" was the name of the game.  There was no waste, no non-sense and it was just plain common knowledge that you were going to learn how to do something. 

The silliest one I recall was most folks didn't have grass - they had dirt yards and the house work was never done until you "swept the yard."  I have always wondered  why in the blazes would you sweep the dang yard, it was dirt.  You couldn't just go out there with a broom and fling it all over the place - there was a system.

You started in the leak of the house and you lightly swept forward  out to the edge - always in 1 direction - nobody could turn around and sweep the other way.  And if you ended up with little piles of dirt you had to take a shovel and sweep it up and throw it over the bank - usually into a creek or holler.

Thing is these hill people lived by and relied on these traditions come hell or high water. 

I remember the one that if your dog went out, laid down and rolled over in the front yard, company was comin'  - my grandma would go right in an start cooking - she just knew company would be there in time to eat.  And the preachers got fed better than anybody else.  If the preacher came by, there'd be fried chicken, green beans, biscuits, fresh homemade cake, spiced peaches - a feast - and the preacher got fed first.  That was considered manners. 



sweeping the dirt

This made me laugh as mom is so worried about her driveway and tries to sweep it. for a person who can't see, she sure knows when a leaf falls on that damned driveway. My brother told me last year "don't you remember that she used to sweep the dirt in Tennessee?".

People used to share more, too, especially food. If you came to our house, you got fed.

Flour sacks & Sugar sacks - true green fashion

I went on a tour with a friend of mine  through a sugar mill in Canada a while back, and off to the side of  one of the loading docks were some damaged cotton sugar sacks.  
Next thing I knew my friend (who obviously sews) had whipped up a shirt for me!!   I know it is special - I only wear it on special occasions.
So years ago, like Jerleen and dwebb discuss in this thread, packaging was honestly re-used - in its same form  (in this case as cotton cloth) with no added energy. 
Today we hypocritically call our half hearted efforts re-cycling - which usually means that the packaging compound  only is re-used, after the packaging material is reprocessed into its original pre-fabrication phase.
 For example, aluminum cans are re-cycled not as cans/containers but only as aluminum.   Beer bottles are re-cycled not as bottles but rather as crushed glass cullet.  Plastic bottles are not recycled as containers but only as plastic pellets.
So as the years have gone by, and we green-wash ourselves, in actuality, we are going backwards in the efficient re-use of packaging.  



Love the shirt, Jbuster. Hope that you hand wash it.

We toss plastic into the recycle bin and go off to buy plastic containers to put stuff in. ALuminum foil can be washed and reused and recycled when it falls apart. The packaging of large containers of rice and poatotes can be used to store so many things.

But we will never have the cloth flour sacks again.

Jeff, now don't forget the

Jeff, now don't forget the feed sacks.  I love the shirt - that is truly one of a kind and tailor made just for you. 

When I make something like that I always put my name and the date in it somewhere.  Just in case it last a hundred years.

I love reading your stories

I love reading your stories jerleen1.  Very interesting memories and you tell them in such an entertaining way. 

I love reading your stories

I love Jerleen's stories and wonder if she would be willing to share more of these around a fire one night and we could all listen to her soft accent telling us about the way it was.

count me in --

 i have a huge box of my son's teeshirts (he lOved them!) that I started quilting. i made one for my father but never finished another. i would love to start up again!

I think I will check on a

I think I will check on a place that is sufficient enough to lay out fabrics - I have a place in mind.  Will keep you all in the loop - we'll pick a day that is good for everybody and show up with our sewing baskets, bucket, pail, etc. 

Anybody remember taking sweet milk and corn bread to school in an "Armour" lard bucket for lunch?

mountain oysters

I am pretty sure that the west side market still carries these on ocassion.

BTW, I helped mom can tomatoes on Friday. It wasn't what I had planned for my day but they were ripe and therefore it was time. The way that it was long ago was that we went with what nature dictated: berries were ripe, go pick. Green beans ready, wash those jars and pick. Some things were predictible: when potatoes were dug and stored,  same with apples. But the heat of the summer, or lack of, determined the priorities for duties if the family were to have food in the winter for most produce. Kids were ok'd to take time  off of school in the early fall to help get the crops in because that was just life in the mountains. 

that is the way it works. 

that is the way it works.  You took care of your daily duties when nature called.

What is that old saying, "Waste not want not."

People with families back then did not have a choice - they couldn't sit on their behind and say no harm no foul, we can get food stamps.  They worked hard long hours - making sure that when the snow came, there were no worries.

waste not want not

 Ok, Jerleen, I have to put up green beans. Skinny greens beans that we have a ton of and my Mom isn't happy because they are not half runners or pole beans, says that they aren't the canning kind. Can I can them anyway? Can I do it without a pressure cooker, just cook them a little then a hot water process bath? Or should I not risk it and freeze them instead?

Well, you can can them, but

Well, you can can them, but just from my experience, I would blanch them and them freeze them.  I think they will do well in good freezer bags. 

If I were going to can them, I would cold pack them any way. - your mom is right, the little white half runners and pole beans are the best for canning but we have canned others as well. 



cold pack green beans

I am so late in getting to my beans. I looked up cold pack and looks like with green beans a pressure cooker has to be used. So blanch and freeze it is. 

Norm is right

Looks out Star Kitchens cause I am bringing my green beans and my apples and stuff to these kitchens next year where maybe I can buy the jars and lids and have other stuff. I am way not having fun with this preserving of foods and it is because I have to run out for this or that. I would like to start and finish in a kitchen that is set up for this. 

Jerleen, the jelly

 Jerleen, the jelly that I am making for my mother (apple) won't quite be perfect because I don't have a flour sack to drain the juice through, according to my Mom. Cheesecloth just isn't the same. sigh.

No, cheese cloth is not the

No, cheese cloth is not the same but, a baby diaper works.  (Of course you want a fresh new one)  or you can go to the fabric store and buy a small piece of muslin - that works pretty good too.  We did have a few old flour sacks but I don't know what happen to them.  They need to start making that stuff again.  What's a girl going to do with her flour sacks? 

JBuster's shirt

Maybe Jeff will loan me his sugar sack or flour sack shirt. I promise to wash it before I return it. Bet that it would work.

I messed up my measurements of apples to water; twice the amount of water than the recipe called for so I am re-cooking the stuff with more apples (the right amount). I am going to settle for just the juice tonight and then make jelly tomorrow. Once again, I am amazed at how anyone got this done in the old days on top of everything else. I think that I will so something extra special for my Mom this week (besides the jelly) because she did this stuff and took care of the kids.

There you go, Jeff's

There you go, Jeff's shirt. 

And to think, they had to build a fire first too - not to mention chopping the wood.

and hauling the water

When I thought that I was done cooking the apples (the first time) I put the pot into a cold water bath to speed up the cooling and realized what a luxury that this is. This was not a real option back in the day. Then it was just waiting for it to cool enough to handle. And not doing it at midnight.

I'm a quilter ...

I am enjoying all your stories. I did n't grow up with female relatives that did much sewing , cooking or gardening but I must have felt I was missing  something. I learned to sew, a little from my Mom and through classes I took at Polaris and at Hoops n' Hollers, a quilt shop that was in North Olmsted for many years. I loved quilting so much I got a job at Hoops n' Hollers and worked there all through high school. The owner, Sandi Luther, was from the "hollers" of Kentucky -- she was an inspiring quilter and business woman. I still have piles of fabric I bought with my employee discount. I made a lot of quilts, but none very recently (since I became a Mom). I learned gardening and cooking from scratch too -- something my family members can't alway appreciate, since you can buy vegetables and bakery at Marcs and giant Eagle. I guess I get more pleasure from the process of making/growing something than they do. 

I can't wait to taste my chickens' first eggs. They look very happy. They are so friendly and they are enjoying fresh treats from our garden every day.



I used to go to Hoops n'

I used to go to Hoops n' Hollers just to look around.  I bought a couple of quilting templates from the store but to this day have never used it.  I guess old habits are hard to break - I still prefer to cut my pattern pieces or templates out of cereal boxes or some kind of light card board. 

I have some of the new modern day quilting and sewing tools but I guess I'm just too "old school" to use them.  I have all kinds of card board squares, triangles, etc., that I've been carrying around for years.  I don't know why I keep them - you can always make more - force of habit I guess.

I surely do get it about the fabric.  I am a fabric hoarder.  If there is a sale on fabric, I buy stacks and stacks just to have it - I love beautiful pieces of cloth.  I'm such a hoarder, I won't throw away even the tiniest scrap - I always think I'll use it - in a crazy quilt or scrap quilt.  Those are my favorite.  I love to collect quilting magazines and every once in awhile I'll use a pattern out of one of them - but I have more fun and enjoyment from creating my own designs.  I have three baby quilts to make in the next month and they have to each be different - since they're for two nieces and my nephews girl friend.  1 girl, 1 boy and 1 don't know plus my granddaughter has requested a Cinderella costume for Halloween. 

The mad rush of today's world has made it almost a necessity to run out and buy store bought clothes and food.  But there is nothing as good as food cooked from scratch.  The taste is so different.  You're so right, even fresh eggs taste better than store bought.