Monika Soria Caruso

Triangle Vegfest recap


Thanks to all of our friends and supporters that stopped by our table today at the inaugural Triangle Vegfest! We are thrilled to have met and talked with so many great new people. We had tons of fun and are honored to have been a part of this wonderful event.

We’d like to send a huge shout out to Maggie of Maggie’s Conscious Vegan Cuisine. Not only does she make absolutely delicious vegan cuisine but she is very generous as well. We are so humbled to have been the recipients of all the proceeds from the sale of a seasonal veggie dish she made specifically for Triangle Vegfest. You can find Maggie’s easy-to-make, delicious cuisine locally at Whole Foods, or at Wegman’s if you live in the Northeast.

Maggie, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support and generosity!

Holiday culinary workshop with Chef Kevin Archer

Chef Kevin ArcherWe are thrilled to announce that tickets for our vegan holiday-themed culinary workshop with Certified Chef Kevin Archer are now on sale!

Saturday, November 8th, 2PM – 5PM

Pacifica Co-Housing Community

Viburnum Way, Carrboro, NC 27510


Get your tickets here!

Thank you to our Indiegogo supporters!

future goat+sheep barnOur Indiegogo campaign has come to a close and we are thrilled to announce that we HIT OUR GOAL thanks to last minute donations by Kevin Archer, who just happens to be our favorite certified vegan chef, and Julia Brittain who gave on our website to get us to $10,000!! We are so grateful to all of our friends and supporters who have made this campaign a success. If you missed the opportunity to participate in the Indiegogo campaign, you can always earmark a donation on our website to barn building or consider sponsoring one of our wonderful animals to provide them with top notch care. Thanks again everyone. We could not do this without you!


Meet Robby, the Refuge’s first rescue!

Robby the Rooster


robbyRobby the rooster came to the Refuge in July of 2014 as the sanctuary’s very first rescued animal.  Robby was purchased as a chick, along with other chicks, to be used for their eggs in an urban neighborhood. Many baby chickens purchased for this reason turn out to be roosters instead of hens because it is hard to tell their gender at such a young age. Some of the people living with Robby wanted to kill him for meat because he could not provide them with eggs. One person cared about Robby’s life and did not want any harm to come to him.  She contacted the Refuge where he now lives in safety for the rest of his life.


Robby’s rescue story is important to tell because it highlights some of the issues facing birds living as “backyard chickens”. Most of them come from commercial hatcheries where workers attempt to sort out the male chicks by throwing them alive in meat grinders or into plastic trash bags to dispose of them. 


Day old babies are shipped in boxes to consumers without food or water, and can die during travel. Roosters who live in backyard urban homes often meet a grim fate. Zoning laws banning their existence within city limits, neighbor complaints about noise, and their perception of being “useless” beings are all factors that lead to their frequent deaths.



Robby’s story doesn’t end there. His name holds special significance to Refuge founder Lenore Braford. Lenore’s dream to start an organization that advocates for farm animals would not have been possible without her great Uncle Alex. Although the purchase of the sanctuary land occurred many years after his death, Uncle Alex is honored and remembered by our first rescue Robby, who is named after Alex’s beloved dog. Having no children of his own, Alex looked upon Robby the dog as a cherished family member, even allowing him to eat off of his own dinner plate.




The bond that Alex and Robby the dog shared is not unique, but the love and care given to Robby the rooster is far more rare. Why should this be the case? Why love one and eat the other? All animals are equally deserving of love, respect and the right to a free life. No animal is useless, just like no person is useless. 

As the Refuge continues to grow, we hope that Robby’s story and the stories of all of our rescues will touch the hearts of many and inspire a more compassionate world.

Maple coconut granola

maple coconut granola

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This granola – it’s not for the faint of heart. It has quite a bit of oil, which gives it an icy sheen and makes the larger bits shatter between your teeth with a very satisfying crack. It’s perfect for a day-long hike, as a post-run snack, or sprinkled sparingly over yogurt for breakfast. I don’t recommend it for mindless munching, though. This is not that kind of granola. As long as you stays close to this ratio of oats : add ins : sweetener + oil, it can easily be changed to accommodate whatever’s in your pantry (or on sale in the bulk bins) without any trouble.

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3 cups rolled oats 
3/4 cup raw sliced almonds 
3/4 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds 
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut chips or flakes 
Large pinch kosher salt 
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup dried fruit, optional

Preheat the oven to 300 F/150 C degrees and position a rack in the center. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, seeds and coconut and mix thoroughly. In a small saucepan, whisk the coconut oil and maple syrup over low heat until the oil has completely melted, then add to the oat mixture. Stir until everything is well coated. Spread out in an even layer on the baking sheet, then sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt (no need to mix in). Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes, stirring once at the halfway mark. Upon removing the granola from the oven, stir in dried fruit, if using. Once cooled, store in an airtight container; this will keep well at room temperature for a week.

Note: My favorite fruit to add to this are dried cherries or apricots, cut into bite-sized pieces.

Prep time: 5 minutes | Oven time: 45 minutes | Yield: about 6 cups

Lemon olive oil cake



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All of these components come together to make a cake that’s dense and airy at the same time, with a tender crumb and a crunchy rind where the sugar in the batter caramelizes against the edge of the pan. This cake will slowly rise, rise, rise for the first half hour or so, until – poof! – it collapses onto itself. Fear not! It’s supposed to collapse. If you have a springform pan, it will make plating the cake a little bit easier. If you use a regular cake pan, no biggie; just use two plates. Place plate #1 on top of the cake pan, give it a quick flip, and then carefully invert it onto plate #2. If you don’t have lemons on hand, Meyer or otherwise, other citrus will do. I’ve made this cake with grapefruit, blood orange, and even clementines with success. 

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3/4 cup white spelt flour
1/2 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup plain coconut yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F / 180 C. Oil and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, almond meal, sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest and juice. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, being careful not to overmix. Pour the cake batter into the floured pan and smooth out the top. Place in the center of the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, until the cake forms a golden crust on top, feels springy to the touch, and the edges have pulled away from the pan. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack while still in its pan for ten minutes before transferring to a plate. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing. It tastes even better on the second day, if you manage to save a slice that long.

Prep time: 10 minutes | Oven time: 50 minutes

The Refuge Hen House building has begun!

Hard working volunteers are making it happen!

Check back for more pictures as the Refuge Hen House progresses, and sign up to help us get it done here:

Help us build the Hen House!

Because of your support we are now able to begin building our first barn, and are on track to begin rescuing chickens and turkeys in the Summer of 2014. Sign up now to be a barn raising volunteer!

No experience building is necessary – anyone and everyone can participate. Sign up, and keep checking back for more upcoming workdays at this link here.