Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, June 21, 2013

An update on Block Supported (Poultry) Agriculture

Backyard chickens-poultry, Salt Lake CityLast November, I wrote about what I called "Block Supported Agriculture," using an example from Salt Lake City, where some friends have a backyard chicken coop with 6 chickens, and they share the responsibilities and eggs with two other families on the block.

Right: some of the chickens that spurred the entry.  (Brown chickens lay brown eggs.  White chickens lay white eggs.)

I thought that their example was very interesting in how it makes something that might seem overwhelming--having to take responsibility for feeding and watering chickens every day might mean that you don't do it--into something that's do-able.

Since then, two other households on the block have gone their own way into chicken farming, although one household has an extensive background in farming and they would have done it anyway--they have 8 chickens I think.  Another household, doing it on their own, has 2 chickens.

In any case, "Block Supported Poultry Agriculture" needs a bit of an update given the almost one year of experience they have in doing it.  First, the big thing is the recognition that the household where the coop is physically located does more.  They pay for the electricity and provide the water, although the cost is minimal.  They could have the others chip in but it doesn't seem worth the bother.  Second, over time the coop requires maintenance, like chipping off hardened "stuff."  They could probably schedule communal work times to get help to do it, but right now, the household where the coop is physically located is taking on that responsibility.  Third, at least one household not participating was stealing eggs.  They figured out who it was, but rather than press the issue, they put a lock on the coop.

Could the egg stealer have provided a teachable moment, should/could he be brought into the BSA, by adding some chickens?  How do you talk to someone about that?

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