Hickory Farms

November 2023 Hickory Farms Newsletter

- Editor, Jennifer Maloney (Farm House Ln)

Architectural Control Committee Update

By Justin Mensen


  • 4371 Harvester Farm – Replace existing storage shed

Location of sanitary containers

Currently several homeowners regularly store their sanitary containers in a location that violates the rules and regulations by being “forward of the house. Examples of this would be:

  1. In the driveway in front of the garage door.
  2. Anywhere between the sidewalk and the forward line of the house.

The Hickory Farms Deeds and Declarations state:

No lot shall be used or maintained as a dumping ground for rubbish. Trash, garbage or other waste shall not be kept, except in a sanitary container.

The Hickory Farms Rules and Regulations state:

1.13 Restriction on Containing and Dumping Rubbish, Trash, Garbage, Yard Debris, etc. [Declarations, Article VII (Restrictive Covenants), Section 13]:

  1. Garbage shall be set out only on trash collection days, or the evening prior to scheduled pickup, and shall be removed from street-side on the collection day. This is to maintain an attractive appearance and to avoid attracting rats and raccoons. Sanitary containers shall otherwise not be forward of the house.
  2. No dumping of yard debris or trash is allowed in common areas. Common areas are defined in Regulation 1.
  3. Yard debris shall be recycled or set out for collection. Large piles of yard debris shall not be kept on individual lots. (Note: this does not prohibit the maintenance of a neat compost pile).

Following are examples to illustrate what is forward of the house, and not forward of the house.

Please engage with your neighbors to kindly bring this to their attention in case your neighbors are not aware of the Restrictive Covenants or Rules and Regulations on this topic, because your neighbors may not be actively getting or reading the newsletter.

Additionally, the ACC will make reasonable attempts to communicate this matter to homeowners in a kind and courteous manner in the coming weeks.

Hickory Farms Fall Fest Fun!

Photos courtesy of Laura Bulcher

The Birds of Hickory Farms

By Bob Cosgriff

November marks the end of the winter migration season for most songbirds and shorebirds. It is the peak for raptors, ducks, and geese. From now until next March/early April, we will see either year-round residents or birds that have traveled from Canada and the northeastern states to winter here. In terms of backyard birds, which means Slate-colored Junco (a subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco), White-throated Sparrows, Brown Creepers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets primarily. It is also possible that we will get Pine Siskins and Purple Finches this winter, based on forecasts coming out of Canada. Year-round visitors here include Blue Jay, White-breasted Nuthatch, all five common woodpecker species, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, American Robin, and Mourning Dove.

So how can you be sure to see these birds in your yard? There are three essentials: food, water, and shelter. While birds do not need human help to survive the winter, putting out bird feeders certainly makes it a bit easier for them to do so, especially in really extreme weather. The best all-around seed is black oil sunflower. Second best is shelled peanut pieces (woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches). Other choices are safflower seed (which deters pesky starlings, a non-native species), nyjer (thistle) for goldfinches, and white millet (doves and sparrows particularly go for this seed). Avoid commercial birdseed mixes, since they often contain seeds that are not favored by birds, such as red millet, or don’t contain enough of the valuable seeds to make it worth buying them.

As for what type of feeder to use, choose one designed for a specific type of seed. The best general feeder is a platform feeder, but many people also have a box feeder or a tube feeder. One thing is mandatory: whatever feeder you choose, be sure that squirrels are unable to get to it either by jumping from a tree or a deck or by climbing up the pole. Feeder poles should be at least 10 feet from anything a squirrel can use as a launching pad and should be protected by a racoon baffle (8” to 12” diameter) with the bottom of the baffle at least 4’ from the ground.

Other valuable commercial food sources are suet and peanut butter (crunchy is best). To deter squirrels from eating your suet, buy the hot pepper variety. Birds are not affected by the ‘heat’ of the pepper, but squirrels will take one bite and never return. Also, do not forget natural food from garden flowers like black-eyed Susans and coneflowers. Leave the dead seedheads standing until it's obvious the birds have cleaned them out.

After food in importance comes water. Like humans, birds need to keep hydrated. If you plan to use water over the winter, you will need to buy a birdbath heater. Be sure that the extension cord is rated for outdoor use and is plugged into a ground-fault interrupter circuit receptacle. Always unplug the cord before cleaning the heater. Never handle an electrical item that is plugged in or “on” and immersed in a birdbath. I keep my birdbath (which also has a recirculating pump) operating all winter and the birds love it, even on very cold days.

Finally, shelter. It is easy to construct a small, unobtrusive brush pile out of fallen tree branches. Other cover can be provided by conifers (hemlock, cedar, spruce) or evergreen plants such as holly bushes or azaleas. Cover protects birds from wind and from predators such as Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned Hawks which often scope out feeders. If you have a bird house in your yard, just clean it out and leave it in place. Birds will use it in very cold weather to stay warm.

In addition to your own yard, our beautiful common areas provide excellent places to see the birds of Hickory Farms in the winter. Check the tree islands and the wildflower meadows since they provide food and shelter for our avian residents. If you have children, take them with you. It’s never too early to introduce young people to the joys of birding.

Join Our ListServ

Don’t miss any news! Join the Hickory Farms Listserv! Hickory Farms utilizes Google Groups to manage our listserv. This platform is simple, easy to use and free. If you don't have a Gmail account, you can sign up for one at http://www.gmail.com.

Once you have an account, visit https://groups.google.com/my-groups to sign into Google Groups. From there, go straight to http://groups.google.com/g/hickory-farms-hoa/ and click the "Ask to Join." In the Reason for Joining, please include your address, phone number, and own/rent status to include in the neighborhood directory.

Once your membership is approved, you'll receive emails when they are sent to the listserv. You can adjust your membership settings - like changing single emails to a weekly digest - in your Google Groups Settings.

Please don't forget to review the guidelines on the Hickory Farms website here: https://hickoryfarms.org/ hickory-farms-listserv . There's also information on how to post to the listserv, manage your account and more.

Finally, if you need basic Google Groups help, visit: https://support.google.com/groups/answer/1067205? hl=en. You can always contact the admins of the listserv for help or questions by emailing hickory-farms-hoa+managers@googlegroups.com.

Student Yellow Pages

Lily Bucher lrbucher4@gmail.com Babysitter/Mother's Helper, Pet Sitting
Kiera Stark commonareas@hickoryfarms.org Pet Sitting
Greysen Berg 210-428-5535 Yard Work, Leaf Raking
Cedar Batz 571-398-1467 Dog Walking, Dog Sitting

If you offer services such as those listed above, or others such as tutoring, etc., and wish to be included in future listings, please email the Newsletter Editor at newsletter@hickoryfarms.org.

HFCA Board Meeting Notice

HFCA Board Meetings continue to be held via Zoom. Unless otherwise notified or due to an unforeseen change, HFCA Board Meetings will be held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7 pm.

To join a Board meeting, contact any HFCA Board Member or send a request to join to hfca@hickoryfarms.org. You will be provided with the Zoom meeting URL, meeting number and passcode.

Newsletter Item Deadline and Distribution Notice

Newsletter items are due the 25th of the month, for the next month’s issue. Please send submissions to newsletter@hickoryfarms.org.

Newsletters are distributed via the HFCA listserv and posted on the HFCA website. Paper versions of the newsletters are no longer delivered to households. All are encouraged to access the digital newsletter via the listserv or the HFCA website.