Starting My Backyard Farm

Aug 24, 2012 by

It all started with a chicken. She didn't have a name when my landlord asked if I'd help take care of her over the summer. My landlord had no idea that I have a chicken fetish and that my secret dream was to live in Berkeley and have chickens. Notice the past tense: My secret dream "was." Now it has come true.

Meet Henrietta. In all honesty, I'm not totally sure what breed she is. I'm pretty sure she's an Auraucana, but she could be an Ameraucana--I'm not the only one who finds the delineation baffling--and she lays gorgeous little blue-green eggs. But either way, she's an Easter Egger, a chicken that possesses the "blue egg gene." And most importantly, she's my inspiration for my Backyard Farm project, which I'm trying to get in place before grad school fully kicks in. Urban farming is no new concept, but I'm excited to jump on the bandwagon. Henrietta's chicken run hugs a triangular piece of land behind a property and here are my plans for it: 1. I'm hoping to convert the dirt triangle into a fall garden. Henrietta needs some greenery around her, ya know? 2. I'd really love to finally get back on the beekeeping bandwagon and set up a bee hive back there as well. 3. Finally--and this is super exciting--I'd like to have a couple more chickens in the chicken coop to keep Henrietta company. It's tricky business to add new chickens to an existing flock, but I'm hoping that just adding one chicken or two might not be too difficult...thoughts on this? I'm super excited to take a backyard farming course here and there at BioFuel Oasis, which not only sells biodiesel, but also offers workshops in beekeeping and keeping chickens. It's time to make my backyard farming dreams come true. Tell me about your own adventures! What's in your backyard? How'd you get started? p.s. Note which (photo) came first: The chicken. Now you know.


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