New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Livestock

The Benefits Of Owning Farm Animals In The City

kidoile Click on image for larger file.

Everyone I spoke with told me that the downside of keeping urban animals is that it is a 24/7 job which makes going on vacation difficult.

By Rebecca Mongrain
Seattle Refined
Aug 18, 2015

Excerpts:

Seattle’s liberal livestock laws allow for the average city resident to bring a bit of the farm to their urban backyard. Seattle allows up to eight domestic fowl on any lot but roosters are not permitted. The hen house must be at least 10 feet away from any residential structure. The Seattle Homestead site provides information on chicken laws for most of Washington’s major towns. Miniature goats and small potbelly pigs are permitted with limitations while farm animals (full-sized goats, cows, horses, sheep, etc.) are only allowed on lots over 20,0000 square feet within Seattle City Limits. No swine are allowed other than small potbelly pigs either.

[Read more →]

August 26, 2015   No Comments

Massachusett’s man living off farm in his backyard

oatman
He brought in 30 chickens and a pair of goats.

Named after members of the band Metallica, the roosters were introduced to the menagerie to help Leonard produce new chicks to sustain his egg production.

By Jim Haddadin
North borough News
Aug 14, 2015

Excerpt:

The bearded, shaggy-haired 27-year-old has begun to reap the fruits of his labor. Walking barefoot through his garden on Thursday, Leonard plucked a thick, green cucumber from a thicket of leaves sprawling across the ground. He trimmed a clump of 6-foot-tall weeds growing near an old swimming pool, tossing them over a fence to the hungry goats on the other side.

Leonard believes more than half of his food supply now comes from the operation.

[Read more →]

August 23, 2015   No Comments

Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer

dirtych

Antonia Murphy, you might say, is an unlikely farmer. Born and bred in San Francisco, she spent much of her life as a liberal urban cliché, and her interactions with the animal kingdom rarely extended past dinner.

By Antonia Murphy
Gotham
January 22, 2015
272 pages

“One month into our stay, we’d managed to dispatch most of our charges. We executed the chickens. One of the cats disappeared, clearly disgusted with our urban ways. And Lucky [the cow] was escaping almost daily. It seemed we didn’t have much of a talent for farming. And we still had eleven months to go.”

Antonia Murphy, you might say, is an unlikely farmer. Born and bred in San Francisco, she spent much of her life as a liberal urban cliché, and her interactions with the animal kingdom rarely extended past dinner.

[Read more →]

August 18, 2015   No Comments

Edmonton, Alberta orders sheep farmer to get the flock out of the city

koch
Sheep farmer David Koch shows the city’s order to get rid of his sheep by Sept. 20 or face fines of $500 per animal. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

David Koch faces $25,000 in fines if he doesn’t clear out flock by Sept. 20

CBC News
Aug 06, 2015

Excerpt:

The city has long since swallowed up Koch’s 3.5-acre hobby farm between Ellerslie Road and Anthony Henday Drive, west of 99th Street.

Though the acreage looks as rural as many beyond the city outskirts, it is no longer zoned for agricultural use. So more than two decades after Koch started his farm with a pair of animals, his flock of 50 sheep now faces eviction.

[Read more →]

August 16, 2015   No Comments

How dog parks are reducing the impact of pet waste

idream

Dog poo compost not tested for pathogens should never be used on edible crops.

By Rose Seeman
Alternatives Journal
Aug 11 2015

Excerpt:

Volunteers who maintained the dog run in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Park in Montreal successfully composted pet waste from 2005 to 2010. They installed one-metre-cubed plastic bins and encouraged owners to put their dogs’ doo in the bins and cover it with donated sawdust. The volunteers then turned the compost when visiting with their pets. Full bins were covered until the compost was finished. Then it was bagged and left as free garden fertilizer. According to Jim Fares, president of the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Dog Run Association at the time, the process was virtually odourless. The compost quickly became popular and, he says, produced “huge flowers.” (When volunteers dwindled after five years, the city took over park maintenance and discontinued composting.)

[Read more →]

August 12, 2015   Comments Off on How dog parks are reducing the impact of pet waste

Farm Animals at City Farms in London, England

londfarmsLeonie Olu-Williams, Leah Cronin and Gene Brathwaite at Vauxhall City Farm.

A farm isn’t a farm without animals, and at Vauxhall City Farm they have plenty.

By Kate Gould
South London
July 2015

Excerpt:

Surrey Docks Farm is a working city farm occupying a 2.2 acre site on the Thames Path in Rotherhithe. It is open seven days a week and is free to get in.

Animals reared on the farm include a herd of goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, bees and donkeys.

[Read more →]

August 7, 2015   Comments Off on Farm Animals at City Farms in London, England

Mayor willing to listen to residents about allowing chickens in Kitchener, Ontario

chickheiHeidi Wall ran a-fowl of Kitchener bylaws with her backyard coop at her home on Pine Street, where she had four hens. The city is now looking at changing its regulations. Photo by Peter Lee.

Some Ontario municipalities, including Guelph, Niagara Falls and Kingston, welcome chickens.

By Editorial
Waterloo Region Record
July 25, 2015

Excerpt:

A small yet highly committed and possibly growing cadre of urbanites in this region believes chickens belong in city backyards as much as country farmyards. Some have stocked coops with egg-laying hens. Others are pressuring local city governments, which generally frown on the practice, to write new and accommodating bylaws.

Are we ready for this? This week, Kitchener announced it would temporarily stop enforcing its ban on backyard chickens as Mayor Berry Vrbanovic voiced a willingness to hear what citizens want. This came after a resident, under threat of a $5,000 fine, had to surrender her four hens and as nearly 1,000 people signed a petition demanding the legalization of urban chicken farming.

[Read more →]

August 1, 2015   Comments Off on Mayor willing to listen to residents about allowing chickens in Kitchener, Ontario

More city dwellers are embracing ‘hobby farms’

kich
Dominique Salamone and daughter Glory feed chickens in their backyard. The former sheet-metal factory forewoman started keeping livestock in 2010 and says her hobby farm accords peace, purpose and a more healthful alternative to red-meat dishes. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

‘It’s like we live in the country’

By Michelle Hofmann
LA Times
July 24, 2015

Excerpt:

In addition to chickens, today’s urban barnyards include goats, turkeys, potbellied pigs, cows and bees. And what distinguishes a so-called hobby farm from other animal-related enterprises? For IRS purposes, a hobby farm is a homestead run primarily for pleasure, not profit.

“The dividing line is when you start selling the products,” said Rachel A. Surls, sustainable food systems advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County. “Once you start selling the produce, you are a farm and bound by a lot of rules and regulations.”

[Read more →]

August 1, 2015   Comments Off on More city dwellers are embracing ‘hobby farms’

Infographic: 14 Ways Keeping Backyard Chickens Saves Your Garden and the Environment

14wSee complete infographic here.

By Claire Smith
The Happy Chicken Coop
2015

Excerpt:

Chickens were domesticated around 9000 years ago in Indian and Eastern Asia. Since then they have been the source of much amusement, enjoyment and food.

[Read more →]

July 17, 2015   Comments Off on Infographic: 14 Ways Keeping Backyard Chickens Saves Your Garden and the Environment

Growing flock of Bostonians embrace urban chicken-rearing

bostchcik
The Chickeness Khrysti Smith holds her chicken Tribble during the class on raising urban chickens she teaches at Green City Growers in Somerville. Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro Photo:

Raising livestock is banned in most of the city, but many amateur chicken farmers keep birds on the fly.

By Spencer Buell
Metro
July 5, 2015

Excerpt:

A backyard chicken farmer of six years, Smyth offers classes, consultations and coop-building services. Her work has earned her the title “Chickeness of Somerville.”

“One way of looking at it is I’m a backyard chicken concierge,” Smyth said.

The venture, Smyth said, has been much more successful than a past service she offered giving consultations on green living. People didn’t want tips on composting, she said, they wanted help with hens.

[Read more →]

July 15, 2015   Comments Off on Growing flock of Bostonians embrace urban chicken-rearing

Michigan Agriculture Workgroup Recommends Legislation to Support Urban Livestock Operations

goatImage from 1856. Click on image for larger file.

To address these uncertainties, a 21-member Urban Livestock Workgroup was created last summer to formulate recommendations regarding urban/suburban livestock operations.

The National Law Review
June 10, 2015

Excerpt:

Of the 20 requests occurring after the new guidelines were issued, 6 of them were denied because the operations would have been too close to neighbors.

As explained by MDARD’s director of environmental stewardship, Jim Johnson, the denied sites “either had more than 13 homes within an eighth of a mile, or another residence within 250 feet.” Although site inspectors generally try to help applicants determine if there is any possible way to create a permissible livestock operation on their property—such as by putting the animals near the back of the property—sometimes it is just not possible.

[Read more →]

June 17, 2015   Comments Off on Michigan Agriculture Workgroup Recommends Legislation to Support Urban Livestock Operations

Leesburg, Florida allows residents to raise up to 15 chickens in their backyards.

chi
Liam Knowles, 14, watches as his chickens eat from a feeder in a fenced area in his backyard in Leesburg on Friday. Photos By Brett Le Blanc / Daily Commercial.

Backyard chickens are permitted in Leesburg and certain areas of Lake County thanks to new ordinances that allow landowners to raise small flocks.

By Theresa Campbell
Daily Commercial
June 8, 2015

Excerpt:

Urban farming appeals to 14-year-old Liam Knowles, who cares for 13 hens at his family’s home in the Palmora Park neighborhood of Leesburg. His chicken coop is protected by shade and is surrounded with wire fencing and plenty of room for birds to roam.

“I thought it was going to be like a zoo, but they are very calm. It has surprised me,” he said. “They really became pets instead of farm animals. They are very friendly and fun to have and fun to watch.”

The chickens come running when they see Liam.

[Read more →]

June 16, 2015   Comments Off on Leesburg, Florida allows residents to raise up to 15 chickens in their backyards.

Debate about goat-keeping in Ferrysburg city limits still rages after 8 months

idg
In this file photo, Children of the Montambo family in Ferrysburg, Mich. pose with the goats that they and their parents keep. Children, from the left, are Jack, Grace, Olivia and Miles. Goats, from the left, are “Thomas” Jefferson, “Benjamin” Franklin, Penelope, and Mamma.

“I got nothing against goats,” Scarpino said. He’s more opposed to the manner in which the ordinance was passed – with a 4-3 simple majority vote, and against the recommendation of the city planning commission.

By Stephen Kloosterman
Mlive
May 14, 2015

Excerpt:

FERRYSBURG, MI – For some Ferrysburg residents, it really gets their goat that neighbors are keeping theirs.

A debate about whether residents may keep goats, rabbits or chickens at cityside homesteads has raged for more than eight months. The city council recently approved a city ordinance that would allow keeping animals within certain limits — but now a there’s an effort to repeal that ordinance.

[Read more →]

May 22, 2015   Comments Off on Debate about goat-keeping in Ferrysburg city limits still rages after 8 months

A little farm in your backyard in Lodi, California

lodi
Debbie Haesche coos over the chicks at Robinson’s Feed Supply in Lodi on Monday, March 30, 2015. Haesche was a long-time chicken owner until city of Lodi regulations passed last year no longer permitted them. She has been speaking up about bringing them back and is circulating a petition.

Increasingly, Lodi and Galt residents are raising tomatoes, chickens and more on their property

By Kyla Cathey
Lodi News-Sentinel
Apr 27, 2015

Excerpt:

Backyard chickens aren’t currently allowed in Lodi or Galt, though Lodi’s Planning Commission has recommended the city allow residents to own up to five laying hens. That recommendation will go before the city council in May.

They are allowed in San Joaquin County, however, and local feed stores like Robinson’s take advantage of that.

The store offers several chicken classes throughout the year, including those offered by Cherie Sintes-Glover. She also travels to people’s homes to help them evaluate their set-up and go over proper chicken care.

[Read more →]

May 6, 2015   Comments Off on A little farm in your backyard in Lodi, California

Encinitas, California releases draft neighbourhood agricultural ordinance

ckickord

Officials said they hope strikes a balance between encouraging agricultural while protecting the suburban value of neighbors.

By Aaron Burgin
The Coast News
Apr 26, 2015

Excerpt:

The ordinance spells out a number of farming activities that property owners would be able to do by right, including:

Have farms smaller than an acre
Host farmers markets with 15 or fewer vendors at churches, schools and community centers,
Set up fruit stands of 120 square feet or smaller and operate them 12 hours a week
Host up to six “agriconnection” events a year, including farm-to-table events, farming tours and the like. Events that are not directly tied to agriculture, such as yoga and art events, would not be allowed by right.

[Read more →]

May 5, 2015   Comments Off on Encinitas, California releases draft neighbourhood agricultural ordinance