As I have gotten older, I have found myself getting involved with more things. Only natural, right? I’ve collected new hobbies and new friends, and along with them, more responsibility. I’d stop volunteering for committees and boards, but I really enjoy helping out and being part of something bigger than me. Plus I love the social connections I have formed as part of these groups.
Chelsea and other visitors inspecting Hogwarts Home of Eggcraft and Hennery during the Coop Loop.
Saturday, June 12th was Traverse City’s very first Coop Loop. I’m proud to say I was part of this event even though it meant adding more meetings to my busy calendar. This chicken parade of homes was a huge success and If I had to wager on it I would guess that around 200 visitors passed through my yard to meet the girls and inspect my husband’s handiwork. Luna, Hermione and Bella were in the chicken tractor in the front yard and Molly was in the coop since she’s recently taken to bullying the girls and needed a time-out. The separation actually worked out well. If the girls had all been in the coop, it would have been too crowded. Having chicken viewing in two parts of the yard allowed better flow for the guests.
Tuesday we had a wrap up meeting to discuss how the tour went. We discussed what was really great about the tour, what we can change and how to make next year’s tour even better. So, for now my chicken meetings are done, but optional social meetings will be held monthly by the Coop Loop Founders until we start planning the next tour. Mark your calendar; next year’s tour is scheduled for the third Saturday in June.
"What kind of chickens are they?"
I didn’t get to see all the coops on the tour because I was acting as a docent in my own yard, but I hope to see the other coops soon. Until then I’ll have to get by with the pictures Gary took of our coops. You can see the rest of them at cooploop.com
If you are a regular reader, you have by now realized that I’ve been on a little hiatus. Things are getting a little crazy around here and I haven’t had much time to devote to a “real” post.
The craziness began with an amazing trip to Detroit (yes, I said “amazing” and “Detroit” in the same sentence) for the 5th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference. I was too cheap to spring for an internet connection while I was there so blogging was out. Not to mention the fact that I was busy for three days and spent every spare moment with my family. I have an amazing opportunity to write about the conference for one of my favorite local publications, but I’ll save that for its own post once an article has been written, approved (hopefully) and gone to print.
When I returned from the conference I went straight back to work. It was/is end-of-the-year-assessment time and I had missed three prime days. Add to that the half day I missed last week to have a lost filling drilled out and temporarily replaced and now I’m knee-deep in paperwork and running out of days to finish it all.
In all my spare time, I’ve been working in the garden a ton; helping with Girls on the Run; finding and starting a summer job at the Mercato in exchange for my summer CSA share from 9 Bean Rows and trying to finish up the final details for the Coop Loop. There are lots of exciting developments and eventually I’ll tell you more, but I’m still working on sifting my compost heap. I love you all, but a girl has to prioritize.
I’ve had lots of thoughts and ideas, but I haven’t had the time and energy to sit down and compose something meaningful to share. I’ll be back to a more manageable schedule soon. Until then you’ll have to make do with this collection of random drivel.
Traverse City put itself on the Chicken Map last September when it changed the city ordinances to allow residents to keep four hens on in-town parcels. TC wasn’t the first foreward-thinking city to allow urban chicken keeping but was definitely ahead of the trend; residents of other cities are still fighting for the right to keep chickens in their towns.
Now that chickens are legal, people are making a squawk about it. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.) NMC recently held a class about keeping chickens. ISLAND, the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art and Natural Design is hosting a skill swap in June for rabbits, ducks and of course, chickens. Both the express and the Record Eagle have run chicken articles (featuring my chickens) since September. The Record Eagle even reprinted the article (much to my surprise) in its free weekly paper, the North Coast. Edible Grande Traverse, one of my favorite publications, recently featured an article on chickens. Even though they weren’t mine, I must admit it was an excellent article.
Are you chicken enough?
Of course, I can’t forget the Coop Loop. The tour is June 12th from 11:00 – 2:00. You can do the tour at your own pace or join a guided cycle tour led by a chicken on a Vespa. The tour concludes with a shindig at the Commons complete with frescas and a raffle. I’ll hook you up with a map soon so you can join us if you’re around but there’ll be a sign in the yard pointing you to my coop.
Tony of Traverse City Urban Chickens is the webmaster for our group. He recently updated the website to include “coop owners” info. The girls and I are here. See you on the tour?
I’m joking, but only a little. Yesterday I overheard a familiar face at the Farmers’ Market say, “She has the most famous chickens in town.” The ladies have already made the Northern Express and will soon be featured in Traverse City’s first Tour de Coop, but today the girls and I make our debut in the Record Eagle. Pick up a copy. Or ten. I’m out to get mine now.