If the idea of
getting a few pet chickens hasn’t quite struck a chord with you yet, consider this:
Millions of urban households have discovered they like
the feeling of being largely dependent on themselves, by providing their own food through gardening in
whatever space they have. When space is lacking they take to gardening in containers. Many raise from
three to a dozen pet chickens . . . some even keep a miniature goat for milk. And, some brave souls are
also raising bees for
honey.One of those is an online
acquaintance of mine from the Cape Cod area. She is really into bees as part of her and her
family's sustainable living plan. Check out her website,
She has some great photos there,you'll enjoy
Many times, since
their chickens are pets, they can remain within city zoning law guidelines and they’re able to share their
bounty of delicious farm fresh eggs with their friends and neighbors, promoting a peaceful co-existence.
Sometimes this acts as “hush money” if they have a rooster, too.
they have the land, they’re able to dig up a small area for vegetables, cultivate it and replenish
vital soil nutrients by adding composted chicken manure and other household waste. Their chickens rid
the soil of undesirable bugs and worms.
Like Hula-Hoops, Bell Bottoms, and
“I Love Lucy” Re-Runs
In a poor economy, proud and responsible people prefer to
contribute to their own food bank . . . and they love sharing their extra bounty.
Urban farming isn’t such a new
concept, though. It’s arecycled idea from the past, recently popularized by the First Lady’s garden at the White House,
and Martha Stewart’s highly publicized and charming flock of chickens. The government encourages this trend
in a similar manner "Victory Gardens" were promoted in 1941.
And, this trend is increasing. Hobby
Farm Magazine recently published the premiere issue of their new magazine called 'Urban Farming'. From
planting to harvesting, through canning and freezing . . . it’s all covered in
detail, including the vital role of chickens. And the 'Chickens' magazine they put out a few years ago is now
very popular, too.
When my grandparents (and no doubt yours, too, dependingon your age) were young Grandma raised a few chickens, planted a vegetable
garden, and when possible owned a cow. She canned fruits and vegetables and baked bread once a week.
Housewives earned “butter and egg money”. They churned cream, which rises to the top of a bucket of milk,
into butter, and gathered up extra eggs from the chickens, selling them to people in nearby
Back in the 'olden days', the
women insisted upon going with their husbands to the feed store to buy grains for the livestock, so they could
select just the right printed pattern on the cotton feed sacks. The sacks, when washed, were sewed into dresses
forlittle girls, or shirts for boys. Sometimes
they dyed the cotton fabric if a certain color was desired.
Now, people who are able to are swarming to buy five or more acres and beginning a new life
that largely mirrors that of their grandparents or great grandparents. Many have home based businesses,
thanks to internet access. With modern farm tools, appliances, and modern animal husbandry processes, the
workload is far less stressful.
Farming in 1946. The Little kid is my Dad. The plow
horse was named "Jimmy-Boy", he was blind in one eye, and refused to let anyone ride him. Their farm
was in Illinois.