When I walk from my home to a major shopping street, I usually pass a yard where chickens live. They have a little house and a yard enclosed by chicken (what else) wire, roofed with lath to hide the occupants from flying predators. It's a pleasant interlude, listening to these chickens clucking and making contented sounds as they scratch on the dirt floor of their abode, before I get to the hustle and bustle of the nearby traffic. How great, I think, to have this touch of country in your urban backyard. Last week, while shopping at CostCo, I was surprised to see ready-made chicken houses being featured for backyard use. "Look at this," I said to the friend I was with. "It looks like poultry farming has come to the big city." I had no idea the desire to have your own personal egg delivery was popular enough to support that megamarket offering poultry domiciles for sale. It's exciting to think the demand is that great. Clearly, people are more interested in the source of their food than they used to be. The number of farmer's markets that appear on our city corners on weekends is in itself an indicator. And the popularity of books like Novella Carpenter's Farm City attest to a readership that is at least considering a move toward being more involved in what they eat. I heartily spport this trend. And I hope more people will get chickens like the ones on the path I use. We could all use more soothing sounds in our neighborhoods.
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