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Chickens Are the New Adirondack Chair: Urban Chicken Keeping Workshop

On the short walk from here to the preschool, we pass cages of quail, next door to a two-hen household looking to welcome a third this spring, which will come in a shipment shared with two other sets of neighbors. Caroline Street is gaining at least two new coops, with the rumor being that at least one of the new suburban farmers is looking to raise chickens for meat as well as eggs. (Apparently, YouTube is a useful resource for studying up on humane slaughter methods.) There was a message about duck eggs on the neighborhood online forum this morning. Here in the Five Sisters neighborhood, where until recently a front-yard pair of colorful Adirondack chairs was the must-have outdoor accessory, it seems that now nothing less than live fowl will suffice. The chicken thing is going viral. (I wonder, could the recent fox sighting have anything to do with the influx of fresh meat?)

I kid, because I love. And I’m not saying that there’s a coop in our family’s immediate future, but I’ve gone and penciled in the date of this workshop in Johnson, VT, on my calendar. Looks fun! And the carpools from Burlington, I’d say, are not just “likely” but pretty much inevitable.

Urban Chicken Keeping and ‘Chicken Chariot’ Design / Build Workshop
May 2-3, 2009
10am- 5pm
Johnson, VT

Have you ever wanted your own fresh eggs laid daily? Do you have an interest in learning the carpentry skills to build sheds, cabins, and coops? Its easier than you might think! Join us for a weekend workshop on chicken care, carpentry skill building, and learning how to design and build with salvage materials.  We’ll meet and spend time with our very friendly ‘urban’ chickens, and discuss considerations for keeping family laying hens with particular emphasis on ‘downtown’ dynamics and challenges. Together, we’ll build a small rolling coop onto the chassis of a scraped utility trailer, learning design and carpentry, framing doors, windows, roosts, and laying boxes, and create a simple rainwater catchment system for watering the birds. We’ll also discuss different breed characteristics, fencing needs, feed, and have some fun!

Led by Loppy, Biggie, and Fresno (our chickens) and their keepers Keith Morris and Kori Gelinas. $50/ day $80 both days, camping space available. No one will be refused for lack of funds. Pre-registration is required. To register, or for more information, please email earthsurfing@yahoo.com, or call (802) 734-1129. There will most likely be carpool(s) from Burlington.

This is a family friendly event! Feel free to forward to interested friends.

Check out Karl Hammer on the potential power of home chicken keeping: http://www.50in52journey.com/states/Vermont5.asp

This is the first of a Permaculture Design Build Workshop Series that will be taking place throughout the spring a summer: Spring Development for Gravity Fed Water and Irrigation, Cob Oven, Natural Wall Systems (Strawbale and Woodchip Clay), Slipform Stone Foundations, Bioshelter (Geodesic Dome) Design/ Build, Introduction to Beekeeping and Top Bar Hive Construction, and more! I believe these are being organized by and possibly held at Prospect Rock Permaculture, a really interesting North Country sustainable agriculture experiment/business in Jeffersonville.

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