Fri, 28 March 2008
Many forms of urban agriculture have existed for thousands of years.
As practical and environmentally responsible as growing food within a city can be, the art of gardening has seemingly disappeared in many urban settings. As current farming practices are proving to be unsustainable in the long-term, urban agriculture is looked upon by many as being a critical shift that needs to take place if we are to ensure a level of food security in the near and distant future.
The Farming in the City series will now be incorporating a new focus on urban backyard chickens. Raising poultry within an urban setting provides eggs, fertilizer, garden help and meat with a minimal environmental footprint. Having suffered decades of disconnection from our food, bringing the farm into the city, and in this case animals, can provide a much needed dose of agricultural and food awareness. It's this very disconnection that has allowed for the appalling conditions now found in factory egg and chicken barns.
Helping guide this series will be Bucky Buckaw and his Backyard Chicken Broadcast. Produced in Boise, Idaho at Radio Boise, Bucky hosts weekly segments on backyard chickening. His experience and knowledge can help guide any urbanite wishing to set up some backyard chickens. On this broadcast, we listen in on four Bucky Buckaw episodes: Intro, Shelter, Feed and Winter.
Backyard Chickens can present a controversial issue in many parts of North America. While many cities do indeed permit the raising of poultry within city limits, some cities do not. One of these "no chicken" cities is Nelson, BC. We will visit with one Nelsonite who has been working to reduce his ecological footprint, and in doing so, is defying the environmentally irresponsible City of Nelson bylaw.
Bucky Buckaw - Host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (Boise, ID) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens, as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers. He shares fascinating chicken lore from the millennia that will fascinate even those with no interest in birds.
Christoph Martens - Backyard Chicken Farmer (Nelson, BC) - Christoph has spent the last three years working towards greater self-sufficiency. He grows food year-round on his small city property and discovered that chickens are, among other benefits, an ideal pest management tool. He accommodates chickens, ducks and rabbits. Christoph believes the long-standing notion that city-life should be separated from farming has "run it's course" and it's time to move on from this "pseudo-royalty".