Armed with the two page Seattle Tilth map of area neighborhoods, two cameras, four lenses, a water bottle and snacks, I set out the morning of July 13 to see as many of the 25 different urban farms marked on its pages as possible.
This year’s Chicken Coop and Urban Farm tour showcased locations geographically spread from Burien to Renton, Duvall, Bothell, and all over the neighborhoods comprising the center of the city of Seattle itself. Back in the 90’s, at the advent of the urban farming movement, the tour featured creations of pioneers in local chicken coop architecture. More recently it’s expanded to include both the best of urban farms as well as the coolest coops. I had high hopes as I set out the morning of July 13…
Sadly, I badly misjudged how long I’d spend in each location as I got caught up in the spirit, talking to people about their chickens, goats, bees and bunnies, and captivated by the way each of these farmers had creatively dealt with the limitations of their property as well as with how they had integrated food production into lives already full of more typical urban occupations and pursuits.
Some of these conversations were with other guests on the tour, about what they used to create terraces and what kind of chickens they raised and what color eggs and which ones are the best layers.
Generous hosts answered questions from curious and motivated guests regarding processing rabbits and chickens for meat, what kind of hive, how long did it take to build, how long have you been at this, how much honey, where did you learn, what is your favorite variety of tomato, which lettuce is slow to bolt, and so many more.
The ideas and images I have to share come from only a handful of urban farms. I came home enthused and inspired about what I’d seen – imagining how I could put to use some of the ideas I’d seen in my own garden, but disappointed that I hadn’t been able to cover nearly the territory I thought I might, and completely at a loss about how I might write a blog post that did justice to “the tour”, when my own version was clearly abbreviated.
Thinking that it would be a fun way to end the day, I saved the area closest to home for last, and of course, time ran out before I made it back to see the locations within walking distance of home. I decided to contact a few of them to see if, by any chance they might be willing to have me visit anyway. So I’ve got a couple more up my sleeve, but those, I’ll save for another day.
So stay tuned for more from Seattle’s urban farms. Original ideas are popping up all over town.