Archive for September, 2011

Whole Foods’ Side of the GE-Modified Alfalfa/Monsanto Controversy

For those of you who read my blog post on GM alfalfa and Whole Foods, here is Whole Foods’ side of the story. Their official take is found on Whole Foods’ blog: USDA Disappoints: No Regulations on GE Alfalfa.


Oct. 1: Chicken-Keeping Class at Chicago Green Tech U

Home to Roost will be tag-team teaching a chicken-keeping class at Green Tech U with Chicago chicken owner Kristen DeLap!

TITLE: Backyard Chickens
DATE: 10/1/2011
TIME: 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
SPEAKER: Jennifer Murtoff and Kristen DeLap

Want to know what to do with backyard chickens during Chicago winters? What to feed them? Where to get them? Come get your questions answered about raising micro-flocks of chickens within Chicago city limits.

Advance registration is required for all Green Tech U seminars. You may register by calling (312) 746-9642, or send an email with your desired class and contact information to with “Green Tech U” as the
subject line.

Download info on all Green Tech U classes on this page.


The Buzz from the Atlantic Cities Article

A few more articles spawned by Atlantic Cities’ coverage:

The Chicken Whisperer in Canadian news service CBC Alt News column, covered by George Stroumboulopoulus. Spectacular last name, by the way!

Urban chicken consultant will help you realize your homesteading dreams in Grist, covered by Christopher Mims.


Home Canning Workshop in Chicago, Sept. 25, 2011

Need to know what to do with all those tomatoes from your garden or the farmer’s market?

Learn to safely can tomato salsa in a boiling water canner and tomato sauce in a pressure canner this Sunday at Growing Home’s Su Casa Market Garden.

September 25, 2:00-4:00pm, RSVP required
5045 S. Laflin, Chicago
A $10 suggested donation covers cost of supplies.
Instructions will be provided in English and Spanish.
Space is limited to 15 guests.

For more information, please see

Free Coffee Chaff Available

Metropolis Coffee Company has FREE coffee chaff available for bedding.

Coffee chaff is a by-product of the roasting process. Metropolis packages the chaff in 55-gallon trash bags. It is light enough to be easily carried. If anyone is interested in picking some up, please send an email or call.

Metropolis Coffee Co.
5545 N. Clark St.
2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Hours of Operation: 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday

Atlantic Cities Article Introduces the Urban Chicken Consultant

Atlantic Cities contributor Emily Badger wrote this delightful account of my chicken consulting saga!
Enjoy meeting the urban chicken consultant!

Make Your Voice Heard About Food in Cook County, IL

If you are a Cook County resident, this is for you! It comes from the Cook County Food System Steering Committee.

YOUR voice is important. Please share this with others.


This is a very exciting moment in Illinois and US food policy:   One of the most populous counties in the country is considering the creation of a food council, as well as specific food issues.

If you live OR work in Cook County, your input is greatly desired.    Below is an e-mail from the Cook County Department of Public Health, which is sponsoring this initiative.   Basically, you can do two things:
1.  Take a survey (deadline Sept. 29).
2.  Attend a public meeting on Oct. 6, 2011.  Pre-registration is absolutely required because space is limited.
Full details are below.
This is a great opportunity to make your voice heard about food production, food processing, food distribution, food retailing, food scrap management, and food systems and food policy in general.   There are spaces for your personal comments on each page.   Whatever you are most concerned about, please mention.

Do you live or work in Cook County, Illinois? If so, you are invited to complete a survey on how government laws, rules, ordinances, regulations and programs affect the way we eat, grow, transport, store, process, distribute, sell, or handle food or food waste.

 The survey results will be used to create recommendations on what issues a proposed Cook County food policy council will focus its efforts. The Cook County food policy council is anticipated to be an official committee that explores cross-agency and cross-jurisdictional food issues and makes recommendations to the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
To access the survey, go to:
You may also answer this survey in Spanish by calling 708-633-8314 or e-mailing Para contester esta encuesta en espanol, favor de llamar a 708-633-8314; o escriba a
Please share this opportunity to provide input on the issues of importance related to food in Cook County by forwarding this email to others who live or work in Cook County.
To learn more about the survey or sign up to participate in developing recommendations based on the survey results, go to:
Made possible through funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant. CPPW is a joint project between the Cook County Department of Public Health and the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago.

Urban Chickens: Myth and Fact

This article is great for debunking the backyard chicken myths concerning raising chickens in cities and towns! Another good resource for changing legislation. Enjoy!

Shattering seven urban myths about raising chickens

Home to Roost at Windy City Coop Tour, Sept. 25

Home to Roost will be stationed at location #14 on the Coop Tour at 3532 W. Belden.

For more information on the tour, see Sept. 25, 2011: Windy City Coop Tour (formerly Henapalooza).

See you there

Information Useful in Amending Chicken-Keeping Ordinances

Folks often call me about changing their city’s chicken legislation, and I can provide some ideas, tips, and pointers. This Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts page is a great source of information on changing city codes and engaging in debates around keeping chickens. This page contains:

  • Model municipal codes (Illinois and other states)
  • Response to common concerns about chicken-keeping in an urban setting
  • Draft ordinance for Chicago

Check out the rest of the info on the site, too!