Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Empire of Dirt

Do you believe in urban chickens? Two articles intersected for me today. The city of Windsor, Ontario has deferred a decision to look into a recommendation to allow a bylaw that would make it legal to raise chickens in the city. The lobby group CLUCK (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub) is disappointed. "We have a right to have wholesome food. It's a quality of life issue."

The other article is written by Manny Howard who writes for the Atlantic.

"Located behind our home in Flatbush, Brooklyn, The Farm was equal parts fever dream and forced march. During the course of my unintentionally ambitious experiment I turned a neglected 800-square-foot patch of barren clay into a verdant wonderland of vegetables, fruit, and livestock. Live on what you produced, and that alone (with the exception of salt, pepper, and coffee beans) for as long as possible, that's all I hoped to achieve. Not only was it necessary to import nine tons of topsoil from Eastern Long Island, I had to first tunnel through dense substrate and build a drainage system so the soil wouldn't float away during the first soaking rain. From there the work just got harder. I planted crops, built both coop and hutch, and installed 35 chickens—both laying hens and meat birds—along with half a dozen rabbits. I worked unceasingly for seven months to keep this unlikely assembly from imploding before the harvest arrived. When it did I was nourished, body and soul...."

Locavorism or urban agriculture, The Movement is gaining momentum. Why not use that precious square footage in the back yard for a garden utopia and animal farm?

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