Urban Chick

This is unintentionally my second post in a row with the word chick in the title. But I just got this quarter’s edition of Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood Views and squealed with excitement at a new shop opening, and I thought this would be a good time for me to confess something to you.

I really want to own chickens.

My husband’s uncle unceremoniously
handed me one of his chickens this summer.
In its beady little eyes, I saw my future.

What began as a slight inkling that raising chickens might be fun over the summer has, in subsequent months, blossomed into a near obsession. Having gotten wise to the Community Supported Agriculture scene in Cleveland has exposed me to the incredible, delectable, vibrantly yellow perfection that is a fresh egg. I have become keenly aware of the horrors of factory farming and can’t bring myself to consume much in the way of meat, eggs and cheese knowing the filth and misery behind their production. While I’m glad to have access to more ethically produced food through Fresh Fork, my local farmer’s market and other local producers, I now have the itch to get even more local: my own back yard.

My favorite class in college was also my most unusual class (Tier III, for fellow Bobcats.) I chose a gardening class, and through it learned the joy of watching seeds turn into plants turn into vegetables turn into food on my plate.

Weeding and watering and otherwise tending to the my garden was incredibly cathartic through a terrible breakup that spring. Months later, I stayed in Athens over the summer and was extremely broke; the self-sufficiency I found in my garden made me feel like a superhero.The last strongholds of picky eating from my childhood died away as I found ways to enjoy everything I had worked so hard to grow. My love for cooking emerged from my love for gardening.

We managed to have a small garden one summer in South Carolina, but I have had few opportunities since to flex my green thumbs. Our current apartment is no exception; while it has its perks, our tiny balcony is a less than ideal place to grow food, and chickens are out of the question.

So when our lease approaches expiration, we’ll probably be looking for a place with a back yard. In the meantime, I have every intention of attending this class at the newly opened Grace Brothers Farm*Garden*Pet store on West 65th. (Though it looks like the $25 class comes with 3 chicks – anyone want to foster them until I figure out where to keep them?)

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