Saturday, March 20, 2010

Backyard Farmers and Urban Beekeepers

Photo via bleuquila on Flickr

These days I can't read my morning paper without seeing another article or letter about the movement towards raising backyard chickens here in Ottawa. I personally think it's a great idea, who wouldn't want to know that their animals were raised humanely and have fresh eggs right outside their door? Of course I would hope anyone interested in doing this is either already experienced with raising animals, or has enough passion and responsibility to go about the project in a responsible manner. Otherwise, let's leave it to the chicken farmers, provided that they raise hormone-free, humanely treated chicken, that is! That said, currently it is permissible by law to raise backyard chickens in some North American cities, but I understand a lot of cities across North America are still lobbying for this to be legal -- are you reading about it in your city?

It's not just chickens, either. New York City just passed a law that allows its citizens to raise honeybees on their property. It seems everything old is new again, and urban city-dwellers are hearkening back to simpler times, embracing the concept of growing their own vegetables, raising their own chickens or making their own honey. It's not just about a need to go back to simpler times, however I do see that as a need in our society; it's also about knowing that your food is chemical-free, naturally and humanely raised. It's a fascinating subject, and it will be interesting to see how many cities are successful in passing their laws. For a taste of urban beekeeping, check out this video of 3 Brooklyn residents who decided to make their own honey, even before it was legal -- I bet they are very happy about the recent legalization of honeybees.

Brooklyn's Urban Beekeepers: Breaking The Law For The Planet (Part I) from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.

Thanks to my buddy Carla for originally bringing this to my attention

So I ask you, what would you raise in your backyard? On your rooftop? I have created a new poll on After the Harvest to find out what you think! I suppose it depends how much land you have, but I am looking forward to hearing your responses and learning about this more! It's not just about vegetable gardening anymore!

1 comment:

  1. check out the book A Slice of Organic Life - it has chapters on keeping honey bees, geese, a flock of ducks, a couple of pigs etc! Overall its a great book with simple ideas for living organically...