Friday, August 12, 2011

Coop in the media spotlight

Yesterday an urban newcomer paid a visit to our decidedly un-urban chicken coop.  Nathan from the CBC spent some time on a wonderful afternoon looking at our pilot project and egg collective.

A much abbreviated snippet aired on the CBC news last night.

You can watch the archived clip here - just scroll over to the 12.4 minute mark to hone right in on the piece.

If you're wondering why we're focusing so much on chickens in the county, it's not just because our project won a "Pat on the Back" award earlier this week.  If you were wondering where it is, it's now nailed to the inside of our coop where every member of the project and our productive poultry producers can see it whenever they wish to:

And it's not that we have given up on bringing hens home to roost in our backyards.

We would much rather be doing this closer to home, if the bylaws allowed it.  We would much rather not have to drive beyond the city limits, and walk or ride our bicycles there instead.  However, while we continue to draw attention to the benefits of free range eggs, our children are rapidly growing up (not to mention that we aren't growing any younger ourselves), and the 10 member families of our collective don't have the time to wait for the rest of Windsor to see the light.

For some people a small coop in their backyard would be ideal.  Others would undoubtedly benefit more from a communal one in their neighbourhood.  Urban hens would most likely not be housed in retrofitted trailers like ours are.  There are many different and creative ways to put them together and there is no reason for them to be unattractive in this city that already has challenges controlling blight.

As several journalists have asked me this week, I have little doubt that the issue will come before City Council's consideration again.  It might not be this year, but the concerns surrounding the industrialized food system are not insignificant, and far too many people are in poor health as a result.

As the food recalls continue to pile up, more and more people are taking a greater interest in knowing where their food comes from.  This is just one of many good reasons why a project as simple as keeping a handful of backyard hens is so smart for urban families.

This is why this movement is continuing to gain support from residents all over Essex County, and just because it's no longer on councillors' immediate radar screens, doesn't mean it isn't coming back.

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Please keep the Windsor urban chicken discussion going! We love to 'read your constructive comments.