Archive for September, 2013

Egg Farmers Find Value in Traditional Practices

“Rather than treat them as a commodity, we allow our ladies to express their natural chicken instincts,” said Amundsen. “It’s all the things that confinement doesn’t allow them to do.”

Egg farmer Jason Amundsen is trying something new. Well, not truly new, since many of the practices on his chicken farm have been around for… centuries. His farm in Wrenshall, MN, is very low tech, but high on production of quality eggs.

“We have heard nothing but rave reviews from customers, many of whom are willing to pay more for a higher-quality egg and from a place they trust,” said Jane Jefferson, the co-op’s dairy buyer. “I often tell people Locally Laid eggs are the best ones we carry.”

Find the entire article here.

The Golden Beet Award: Honoring Contributions to Local Food

Do you know someone who does an outstanding job promoting local agriculture? A fabulous restaurant that features in-season, locally sourced produce? A community-based organization that contributes to local food?

Nominate them for the Golden Beet award!  Intended to recognize local people, organizations, businesses that cultivate local food, the Golden Beet is given by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance to recipients who exemplify innovation and achievement in the realm of local food!

Read more about this year’s Golden Beet awards here, and learn more, including how to nominate your favorite local food business, organization, or person, on the ISA’s website. 


Home to Roost Owner Joins the Board of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance


I recently attended my first board meeting for the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (ISA). The Alliance seeks to promote local food and connect local farmers with restaurants and institutions that can use their products. The ISA also serves as a lobbying group in Springfield.

It was great to be part of a group of like-minded individuals, trying to make a difference for small-scale farms.

Mission: Illinois Stewardship Alliance promotes environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially just, local food systems through policy development, advocacy, and education.

Vision: We envision a system where soils are treated as a precious resource, local food producers earn a fair, living wage, local food education is integrated into all levels of education, infrastructure is rebuilt to accommodate local food systems and good food is available for all.

Illinois Stewardship Alliance (ISA) is a membership-based organization. If you are local food producer, concerned citizen or food-systems related organization, we invite you to join us! Alliance members span the state and have one thing in common: they all care about the food that is produced and consumed in Illinois and want to support the increase of fresh, local foods. Click here to find out how you can become part of the Alliance.

Donor Policy: Illinois Stewardship Alliance receives grant funding and donations from entities that have a mission that aligns with our basic tenets (see above)

Urban Ag Featured on now.chicago

Earlier this month, Home to Roost participated in an urban ag segment on George Blaise’s now.chicago show on WCIU. Watch the footage here.  Also featured were Emmanuel Pratt of Sweet Water Foundation and Greg Fischer of Wildblossom Winery and Meadery. Pratt focuses on education urban dwellers about agriculture, especially his tilapia programs. Fischer’s locally produced mead (honey wine) provides pollinators and an eco-friendly, local beverage selection.

Thanks to WCIU for the coverage!

CORRECTION: Date for Angelic Organics Learning Center Class

November 9, 2013: Basic Backyard Chicken Care

Back for another season, Angelic Organics Learning Center is hosting another chicken-keeping class with Home to Roost. For more information, see the page on the Angelic Organics Learning Center’s website.

Fall 2013 Classes

Home to Roost will be leading the following classes:

October 19, 2013: Poultry Palooza at the Chicago Botanic Garden!

Join urban chicken consultant Jennifer Murtoff for two workshops on how to successfully raise and enjoy chickens in your backyard! Register for both sessions at once and receive a 10 percent discount.

Raising Backyard Chickens
This class is designed for curious people who are considering raising backyard chickens, as well as for those who already have their own birds and who want to learn more! Come learn about local laws, how to raise chicks, care for adult birds, and keep your neighbors happy!

Raising Healthy Chickens
Are you interested in knowing how to care for your birds in an emergency situation? Better yet, what IS an emergency for a chicken? Come learn the signs of a sick bird, what to do to help her, and where to seek care if the situation is beyond your ability.

To register for these classes, go to the Botanic Garden’s website and search on “chickens.”

November 9, 2013: Basic Backyard Chicken Care

Back for another season, Angelic Organics Learning Center is hosting another chicken-keeping class with Home to Roost. For more information, see the page on the Angelic Organics Learning Center’s website.

Stay tuned for more upcoming events!

Wisdom for Hen Keepers (a project of Home to Roost’s heretofore unsung editorial wing)

I’m tooting my own horn here, but my “other” job – as if chicken consulting weren’t enough of a vocation – is editing, writing, and translating. I got a email a few months back, stating that someone was looking for someone to convert a book by a British writer to American English and practices. The topic: Chicken keeping.

Here is the result, hot off the press: Wisdom for Hen Keepers. I got my smart-looking little comp copies today.

It’s a nice little book, chock-full of chook wisdom. While I can’t take credit for the bulk of the content (I’ll leave that to Chris Graham), it was a fun little project that I’m proud to have had a hand in!


Mercedese-Benz and… chickens

Mercedese-Benz and… chickens

This is one of the best ads I’ve seen in a while!

Sept. 21-22, 2013: Windy City Coop Tour

It’s official!  We’ve unwrapped the 2013 Wind CIty Coop Tour.

Come on out! Bring your family, friends, neighbors, curious aldermen, and anyone else who might be interested in seeing what REAL city chicken coops are like. Meet chicken keepers and other folks who are interested in chickens.

On Sunday, Home to Roost will be at 1632 N. Francisco in Humboldt Park to talk chickens, answer questions, and give some demos!

For more information, see the Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts web site.