Archive for the ‘Urban agriculture’ Category

Visit Home to Roost at SCARCE Growin’ Green Garden Market this Saturday, May 1!

I will have a booth at the Growin’ Green Garden Market this Saturday, May 1, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. I hope to see you there, up close and in person! (Or at least as up close as we can get at this time…)

This market is presented by SCARCE, featuring all manner of gardening supplies, seedlings, compost and more. I will bring a chicken and and give a short talk on the main points of chicken keeping. It is a family-friendly event, with lots of advice and vendors for green gardening!

LOCATION: SCARCE, 800 S Rohlwing Rd (IL Rt 53), Addison, IL

Joint Statement Opposing Proposed Chicago Livestock Ordinance and Call to Action

If you’re a Chicago resident, please read the following statement and take action using the template and call script below. You can also download this information: Livestock-Joint-Statement-9.26.19-1.

Joint Statement Opposing Proposed Chicago Livestock Ordinance
September 26, 2019

Right now, Aldermen Lopez (15th ward) and Napolitano (41st ward) are pushing an ordinance to severely limit livestock in your backyards and neighborhood farms. This ordinance – introduced without meaningful community input – hinders the ability of Chicago residents and urban farmers to grow and raise their own food through fees, fines, and unnecessary burdensome regulations. This ordinance also puts animal welfare organizations at risk for caring for abused animals, if they shelter roosters or exceed the limit on livestock. Together as urban agriculture and animal welfare advocates, we oppose the Chicago Livestock Ordinance, O2019-7576. Join us in contacting your Alderman, as well as Ald. Lopez and Ald. Napolitano, to oppose this ordinance.

Current regulations protect Chicagoans’ right to raise backyard livestock and practice urban farming that is humane to animals and respectful of neighbors. Existing City of Chicago ordinances already address the potential public health, nuisance, and animal welfare concerns related to raising small farmed animals. The ordinance will create unnecessary regulation by banning roosters, capping the total number of fowl at six and other livestock at two, only allowing single-family or two-flat residences to keep livestock, and levying fines up to $500 per day for permit violations – all without
consideration for lot size.

If enacted, this ordinance will threaten the ability of many of our city’s residents and urban farmers to raise their own food and put them at financial risk with costly fees and fines. I n addition, the ordinance infringes on the rights of residents by unduly limiting what animals they can keep. These animals are critical community members, offer hands-on ways to learn about ecology and food (in homes, schools and daycare centers), and provide organic pest control and fertilizer, companionship, and other environmental benefits.

We have worked together for years to create a supportive system for Chicago’s thriving home and community gardens, urban farms, and livestock keeping. These activities are critical to healthy food access, ecological health, and workforce development in our city.

Community education and networking is often more effective than blanket regulation to prevent and solve potential problems. We look forward to collaborating with the Lightfoot administration on our major priorities, including equitable land access, affordable water access, ecological resilience, stronger animal protections, and clear business licensing for urban farms.

Please contact your Alderman today to oppose the proposed ordinance O2019-7576.

Please use the letter below as a template and tell your Alderman to VOTE NO on these proposed changes and to support community-developed urban agriculture and animal welfare solutions.

Advocates for Urban Agriculture
Chicago Animal Save
Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Chicago Roo Crew
Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts
Home to Roost
Illinois Environmental Council
Urban Growers Collective

As of 9/26/19
TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Alderman to Oppose Ordinance O2019-7576

Help us track the citywide opposition by filling out this brief form after your interaction


Call Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a resident of the ____ ward. I’m calling to ask that you oppose ordinance O2019-7576, introduced by Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano. This ordinance, introduced without meaningful community input, burdens residents who keep roosters, chickens and other livestock with fees, fines, and unnecessary regulations. I urge my alderman to vote no on this ordinance and to support community-led urban agriculture and animal welfare solutions. Thank you very much.

Email Script:
Dear Alderman _________,
My name is __________ and I am a resident of the ____ ward. I am writing to ask that you oppose ordinance O2019-7576, introduced by Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano. This ordinance, introduced without meaningful community input, hinders the ability of Chicago residents and urban farmers to grow and raise their own food through fees, fines, and unnecessary burdensome regulations. This ordinance also puts animal welfare organizations at risk for caring for abused animals, if they shelter roosters or exceed the limit on livestock.
Current regulations protect Chicagoans’ right to raise backyard livestock and practice urban farming that is humane to animals and respectful of neighbors. Existing City of Chicago ordinances already address the potential public health, nuisance, and animal welfare concerns related to raising small farm animals.
There are better ways to address concerns around the treatment of these animals, as well as the communities that keep them. I respectfully request that you oppose the proposed legislation and meet with members of the animal rescue and urban farming community to consider alternatives to this regulation.


TAKE ACTION: Contact Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano to Express Your Opposition
Alderman Raymond A. Lopez (15th)
Ward Office: (773) 823-1539
City Hall: (312) 744-4321
Alderman Anthony V. Napolitano (41st)
Ward Office: (773) 631-2241
City Hall: (312) 744-3942

Additional Ordinance Details:
The proposed ordinance (O2019-7576) would amend Municipal Code Titles 4 and 7 to regulate backyard livestock, roosters and urban farms. It outlines the following:
● Require those possessing fowl or livestock to obtain a “livestock permit” from the Commissioner of Health for $25 per animal, which must be renewed annually.
● Applies only to single-family home or two-flats. All other residential properties would be BANNED from obtaining a permit.
● Cap the total number of fowl at 6 and other livestock at 2, regardless of the size of the livestock and of the property where they would reside.
● Require anyone applying for a permit to contact all residents within 500 feet of their property line to inform them of the proposed keeping of fowl or livestock. If 51% or more of those contacted object, the City must not issue the permit,
regardless of reason for objections.
● Levy fines of up to $500 for each animal every day until the animals were removed. This would apply to anyone in violation of this ordinance, even those operating within the law before its adoption.
● Ban roosters within the city, even though existing nuisance ordinances are more than adequate in addressing any sound or nuisance complaint a rooster may cause.
● Require those selling any products from livestock or fowl (i.e. eggs, milk, butter, etc.) to obtain an “Urban Farm” business license. Currently, no clear urban farm business license exists within the City of Chicago.
● Require the Commissioner of Health to immediately notify the appropriate alderman when an urban farm license is requested in his or her ward.

New Chicago Ordinance Proposed to Affect Chickens: What to Do

For anyone asking what to do about the new proposed ordinance going before the Committee on License and Consumer Protection:

READ the proposed ordinance and Alderman Lopez’s summary post:


Contact your alderman, whether on the License committee or not. To find your ward and alderman, use this link.

  • Encourage them to go on the Coop Tour this weekend!
  • Explain your reaction to the proposed ordinance as a responsible chicken/livestock keeper.
  • Inform them about backyard chickens and other livestock, and how you manage yours to prevent problems they may have heard about.
  • Invite them to meet you and your animals – assuming you have a good example to show them – if not, work on that! So important!

We encourage people to build relationships with their Alder and Ward staff ahead of urgent issues – so they know you and can go to you for more info. Be among the people they are glad are in the ward making it a better place to live.


Learn about sustainability from local vendors at Oak Park’s Go Green Days, May 18 and 25

The Oak Park Farmers’ Market has programmed two special Go Green Days to kick off the season on May 18 and 25!

Organizations and businesses that contribute to the greening of Oak Park will be on hand during the first two Saturdays of the 2019 Farmers’ Market. Learn about various environmental initiatives and discuss local sustainability efforts with members of the Village’s Environment & Energy Commission. Other organizations slated to be on hand include West Cook Wild Ones, Sun Run Solar, Deep Roots Project, Cook County Forest Preserve and FFA. Home to Roost will be there both days, so bring your chicken-related questions and check out my new booth!

  • Childrens’ activity: Seed potting
  • Bake sale: Girl Scout Troop 40879
  • Alternating vendor: Sitka Salmon Shares
The farmers’ market is held every Saturday from opening day through October in the Pilgrim Congregational Church parking lot at 460 Lake Street.

For more information on this event, click here and here.



SAVE THE DATES: Windy City Coop/Eco-Yard Tour

SAVE THE DATES for the 2019 Windy City Coop & Eco-Yard Tour on Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday. Sept. 22, from 10 am to 1 pm and/or 1 pm to 4 pm each day. If you want to HELP or HOST, contact martha AT!

Join us on September 21 and 22 and see some of Chicago’s urban chickens. See how folks have configured their coops, pick up tips and pointers, and enjoy the company of other chicken people.

Enthusiastic volunteers are always welcome, so contact Martha (martha AT, our coop tour coordinator to help OR have your coop or yard featured on the tour.

Growin’ Green Market in Glen Ellyn this Saturday, May 11

UPDATE: Time is 9 AM to 1 PM

Come out for green and growing fun with SCARCE at the Growin’ Green Market, this Saturday, May 11, from 9 am to 1 pm at SCARCE, 799 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn.

There will be mini-sessions on composting, bee keeping, permaculture, and, of course, chicken keeping.

You can also order or purchase rain barrels, seedlings and saplings, sign up for a CSA, and pick up some compost!

Bring the kids and invite your neighbors!

Call for Proposals at Good Food Fest, March 24, 2018

Want to present your preserving process? Wax eloquent about the wonders of worm composting? Crow about your kombucha? Brag on your beautiful homebrew?

The Good Food Fest is asking for presentation topic proposals for 2018. Deadline is Feb. 2, 2018.

Event Date: Saturday, March 24, 2018
Event Hours: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Event Location: UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL
Workshops Hours: 10:30am – 4:00pm
Length of Workshops: 30 minutes
Workshops Location: Level 1 of UIC Forum in combined Rooms D-E-F

Workshop presenters should focus on skills-based topics that can be delivered in a concise 30-minute format to a small group. Audience engagement is critical and a format that fosters direct interaction and time for questions is essential. Each Resource Center will seat 6-12 attendees with standing room for a small group. Your proposal should include a description of your presentation format to help us understand how it will integrate into this environment.


COMPOST IT: includes soil topics, vermiculture, compost teas, troubleshooting, best practices, or anything else related to composting practices.

GROW YOUR OWN: includes urban growing, container gardening, season extension, harvesting & handling, and other DIY gardening skills.

MAKE YOUR OWN: includes kitchen skills, keeping cultures (kombucha and sourdough), culinary curiosities, special diets, preserving, fermenting and other creative cooking topics.

RAISE YOUR OWN: includes livestock, raising urban animals, bees, chickens, goats, or anything else of interest to backyard livestock enthusiasts.

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to seeing the creative ideas our great Good Food community comes up with! Please e-mail questions to Nick Lucas at


Urban Livestock Expo, Feb. 3, 2018 – additional info

On February 3rd, 2018, 11am-2pm, AUA and Southside Occupational Academy warmly invite you to the 6th Annual Urban Livestock Expo: FREE, fun, family-friendly workshops on raising bees, goats, chickens, ducks and more in your yard!

All levels of expertise and interest welcome, from the experienced to the curious! Workshops will cover daily care, ideal breeds, how to troubleshoot common problems, and professionals’ tips for being a good neighbor with animals in the city. Also get a chance to explore the amazing urban agriculture program at our host site, Southside Occupational Academy!

Additionally, area urban livestock groups and businesses will staff resource tables with information on further learning opportunities, support networks, sources of supplies, equipment, and more.

Don’t miss this fun opportunity to expand your knowledge, connect with other practitioners, and bond with a goat! Further details here:, and detailed workshop topics to follow. Reach out to AUA with questions at or 773-850-0428. We hope you’ll join us!

6th Annual Urban Livestock Expo
Organized by Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) and Southside Occupational Academy
Saturday, February 3rd, 11am-2pm
Southside Occupational Academy
7432 S. Hoyne Ave
Free parking and public transit accessible!

Download the poster here.

Needed ASAP – volunteers for 2017 coop tour

We need your help for the Windy City 2017 coop tour! It’s only one month away, and the coordinator Martha Boyd of Angelic Organics Learning Center has put out a desperate email, calling for “5-10 really motivated people” to volunteer ASAP. If she can’t muster the necessary support, she’ll be forced to pull the plug.

If you can help, email Martha today. 

This year’s concept was to extend the Tour as a showcase of the variety of Eco-Yard systems and activities that many of folks demonstrate over and above backyard chickens — Eco-Yards can include hosts who don’t have backyard livestock but can share lots of other interesting examples of green/sustainable yards and homes.
SO — We hope that the notion of a bigger, more expansive Tour in 2018 can tide folks over if no Coop Tour this Sept.




Seeking proposal topics for Good Food Fest on March 18

We’re again recruiting presenters for short (20 mins) workshops in the Festival’s Good Food Commons, between 10:30AM and 4PM. 

The event is at the Good Food Festival, Sat March 18, at the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL).

As in the past couple years, ChiChickEns is coordinating the “Raise Your Own” section, seeking presenters on all livestock topics. You can cover the basics, and/or you can discuss a special skill or interest. Ideally you bring a demonstration critter (or two) and some supplies/equipment for show and tell.
Presentations are just 20 mins long and start every half-hour, from 10:30AM and ending at 4PM.
There’s a short form to fill out (and more info about the event) at this LINK. The button for the application is at the bottom of that page. The deadline for filling out the application is Feb 20.
Presenters get access to this fun and busy event (Sat), and you can also reserve a table to display your stuff on Fri (see the link for more on that.)
Feel free also to propose teaching a workshop in another Resource Area (Growing, Composting, Making, or Community Building), as you wish.
Event guidelines mention needing proof of insurance to display live animals — if you are not a small biz or organization with your own liability insurance, we can arrange for event coverage — please contact me, and I can point you in the right direction.
Also, if you have other questions, let me know!