We have a rule on the farm: if you are contributing to the well being of the farm you get to stay. Things like wasps, ants, mice and venomous snakes are not welcome. Things like barn cats, that eat the mice and garden spiders that eat the wasps and chickens that eat the ants are welcomed. It’s a pretty simple plan and it works for us.

We came up with this rule last year when a very beautiful, but large garden spider made a web in the barn above the halters. We watched her grow and talked about how inconvenient her web was because we couldn’t get to the halters, but she was eating flies and wasps. I told her it would be best to move her web. Lo and behold I came in one day and she had moved her web…between the two arms of the chair that I sit in daily. “Charlene,” I explained, “This isn’t the best place to relocate. I think you are going to have to move again.”

I told my son about the incident and said she was going to get evicted if she didn’t move to a better location. He agreed. A few days later, I noticed she had moved and I said to my son, “That’s incredible. I think she really understands me. She has moved again.”

“Who? That spider? I evicted it,” he said calmly.

“What! What exactly do you mean ‘evicted her’?” I asked.

“I killed it.” And just like that, he went on scooping poop; thus, the implementation of The Rule.

So fast-forward to this summer and we have another beautiful garden spider that has built a web in a much better location just outside our screened in porch. For weeks we have watched her grow and catch insects. She’s really been a blessing because her web connected to the tomato plants and I know she has helped serve as a natural insecticide.

Here’s the problem. Today I noticed she had moved much higher on the screen. In fact her web is right next to the roof line where the barn swallows have a nest. Next to her new web is a rather large golden sack, which I am fairly certain is full of eggs. I like her, but I am not sure I want her to have babies on my screened in porch. As I did a little research, I learned that she will have three to four of these little golden silk nest sacks over the next seven to ten days and each will contain 800-1200 eggs.

Tonight we are going to have a council meeting of the farm to vote on The Rule and decide if this is in the well being of the farm. If the votes come in for her to stay, I have veto power.

In life we need rules; we also need to know when to break the rules.IMG_0126