I like this part about Ruffalo’s home in upstate New York:
Ruffalo has built a woodworking shop that he used to make Sunrise a bookcase, and has also dabbled in bow hunting. Lately he’s been getting into welding. “Bikes. Lawn mowers. I built a chicken coop a few years ago – that was cool.” Sadly, that coop was lost in what’s gone down in Ruffalo family lore as the Great Chicken Coop Fire of 2010. It started one cold February night when a chicken knocked over a heat lamp inside. “It was just ashes,” Ruffalo says of the aftermath the next morning. “The wheels were completely melted off.”
“I was fucking devastated,” Ruffalo says. “It was so sad.” He starts to giggle a little, because he’s talking about chickens – but you can tell he also means it. “There were like eight chickens in there, and I loved them, I really did. We raised them from chicks. That was a bummer, man.” Still, Ruffalo would not be daunted. “I was like, ‘We can’t let this beat us,’” he says. “The chickens would want us to rebuild.” And so he took his welder and built a new coop – this time with a solar heater.
For a while Ruffalo wanted to get some alpacas, but he says Sam Shepard talked him out of it – which is a pretty awesome thing for Sam Shepard to talk you out of. (“He was like, ‘Uh-uh, don’t do that. They’re mean as shit.’”) He did, however, get some rabbits. “We ended up giving most of them away,” he says. “But we still have one left. As far as animals go, they’re pretty chill. It’s hilarious to see a rabbit hopping around the house.”
But by far Ruffalo’s favorite thing about the property is his garden. He spends nearly all his time out there. “In my underwear and a ratty shirt,” he says, “barefoot and covered in mud and rabbit shit.” He has “strawberries, rhubarb, tomatoes, basil, corn. A beautiful asparagus bed that’s five years old. And watermelon, which is hard to grow up here. Now I’m doing a little orchard – raspberries, honeycrisp apples, blueberries, a pear tree. My wife is like, ‘That fucking garden, man. It must cost $100 a strawberry!’ But I don’t care. That’s my hobby. I like that.”
[Photo Credit: Thibault Grabherr/Corbis Outline]