Most people are completely fascinated by the idea, and procede to ply us with questions about everything from our organic status to how much a cow costs. I never imagined farming would be such a captivating topic of conversation.
Some people clearly think I’ve lost my marbles. This tends to be the older generation, particularly those who grew up on a farm. I get the distinct impression that they believe it’s a waste of talent, energy and money. I’m often informed that “farming is hard work”, and this statement is invariably accompanied by a slow shaking of the head. I’ve been warned.
The other night, over pints of Aboriginale at Block 15, I was explaining the farm to a running club buddy of Keith’s. He lives in the Pearl District of Portland, an upscale neighborhood filled with high-rise condominiums. This friend was interested in the pastured poultry model that we’re going to use for our laying hens, and he proposed a great idea: Free Range City Chicken.
The proposed model would go like this. A group of condo neighbors would buy one laying hen. They would then proceed to plant a little patch of grass (in a raised bed) on their condo balconies. The hen would travel on a daily rotation between the neighbors, from grassy balcony to grassy balcony. Each neighbor could keep the daily egg and would be responsible for feeding the hen while it is in his custody. Perfect, no?!
If only I had a solution to the inevitable and obnoxious chicken cackling and crowing. Something tells me the non-chicken-owning neighbors might have a little issue with that sort of thing.