Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Urban gardens, chickens, and goats

My family and I had a blast this month at the Tour de Cluck, a peculiarly Davis, California, sort of event.  Hundreds of people meet at the Davis Farmer's Market on a Saturday, get on their bikes, and visit a large number of chicken coops that families all over town keep for eggs.  From last year's video, you can get a sense of the event, and also of the bicycle culture here, complete with bike lanes and bike paths everywhere.

Davis is bustling with local agricultural experimentation.  In April, I enjoyed a presentation by local author Spring Warren, who wrote a book about feeding her family for a year with an urban Quarter-Acre Farm.  Since August, we have lived a couple blocks away from the Village Homes, a 70-acre conservation-oriented residential neighborhood, where the streets are named after places in Middle Earth and the neighbors share a lot of space in common, including a garden, chicken coops, and a vineyard.

If gardens and chickens are not enough to inspire you, consider goats.  In June, my family will finally get to visit our old friends Tom and Didi, who -- along with their children, friends, dog, and goats -- found a lively and musical way to tell the story of their efforts to get permission to keep goats in Seattle.  The following video is on the website of the Goat Justice League.  The goats, Rosie and Phyllis, were even featured in an article in the American Bar Association Journal this month.

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