Craigslist is your next apartment, your next job; it's your next bike, bed, kitchen table, boyfriend, girlfriend, trans or sub or dom or gay/bi-curious one-night stand. The farm+garden section is certainly helpful if you're looking for some fertilizer for that window-box herb garden, baby chicks for a backyard coop or even a dwarf goat or three. But if you're just browsing, farm+garden might seem tame; it isn't the section where its possible to catch a glimpse of the zeitgeist (Chatroulette missed connections, Marina Abramović missed connections), or some of the most hilarious writing on the Internet (best-of-craigslist).
But Squid Ink has found farm+garden to offer oddities all of its own too--unless falconry gear and rare, gigantic flowers that smell like rotting flesh are your idea of backyard standards. Following are the ten strangest, most fascinating things Squid Ink stumbled across over a month or so of perusing craigslist's farm+garden.
1, 2. Goats and more Goats: They make milk for goat cheese, meat for birria, amongst other things, and have been employed for their prodigious ability to eat crap on a number of occasions--giving us many a good reason to love them, even if they do have creepy rectangular irises. This listing, however, finds a poster infinitely more excited about cabritos, his caps-locked text screaming "I WANT TO BUY YOUR GOATS." With an offer just $1 standing, I'm not sure if he got too many calls.
With incomplete sentences, poor grammar--does no one pay attention to the you really, really need to proof your posts warning that pops up before a listing goes live?--context can sorely be missed in many a post. Example A, this barter offer for "nigerian dwarf (or nubian)." (author's note: [sic] just about everything in quotes) Now, Nubian is not referring to any princesses, "dwarf" not describing any vertically challenged Nigerians. Rather, both are breeds of goats, Nigerian Dwarfs being well-known both for their companionship and for the wonderful cheese-making properties of their milk. Things are cleared up after the headline and some quality livestock--including an alpaca with "good fiber"--are put forth for possible trades. Anyone interested in making a deal?
3. Bulk Orange Honey: If you ever need a whole lot of something--avocados, lemons, quail eggs, potted palm trees; anything, really--craigslist is the place to find it, the precise volume measurement of a shit-ton tailor-made for farm+garden. This shit-ton of orange honey (orange blossom, we assume) is just one example of many.
4. Plum Fanatics: Do you like plums? At Squid Ink, we certainly do. You could even say that we love them--they're a perfect tart answer to the endless sweetness of much of summer's other stone fruit. But nevermind like or love--farm+garden has introduced us to a true plum fanatic. Faced with a favorite backyard tree not long for the world, this person re-runs their post hunting for people who have a similar tree--its either a sun plum or a Japanese plum--hoping they'll be able to drop by and pick some in exchange for $10. This post has been popping up for a few months now--well ahead of plum season--another sign of their particular obsession with this particular type of fruit.
5. Hops Rhizomes: Cousin to LA's biggest cash crop, marijuana, hops are the plants whose flowers flavor your favorite brew--micro or macro, domestic of imported. Native to Germany, which should tell you a whole lot about how intertwined the history of beer is with that nation, the flowers were originally added not just for flavor, but as a stabilizer, the acidity adding to a cask's shelf life.
In modern home brewing, fresh hops are a rare find, with pellets and dried whole hops being the available options. But if you're going through the work and effort to brew, ferment, bottle and swill your own beer at home, then why not go the full nine and grow this integral ingredient on your own? Sowing enough rows of barley for any substantial amount of truly local beer is going to be tough, regardless of how large your backyard might be, so hops are brewers one shot at growing beer ingredients themselves.
This post offers rhizomes for two different kinds of hops. One is for Cascade, known for providing "Aroma and bittering for pale ales. Pleasant, floral and quite citrusy. Very distinctive and the most popular microbrew and homebrew hop for American ales." The second variety is Northern Brewer, featuring a "fine, fragrant aroma, used for bittering and finishing."