Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hens for Virginia Beach?

The movement is afoot to legalize backyard chicken keeping in Virginia Beach! 

Of course, we have chickens - have had them, in varying amounts, even accompanied by peacocks - but we're in the southern end of the city where the minimum 5 acre lots and larger farms are all zoned "ag" and approved for any variety of animals.  This group is working to get micro-flocks (3-6 hens) approved for backyard chicken keeping.

I love this logo!

Yep, you can go to their Facebook page and get a t-shirt with it (as I just did). Their website is very basic - just a few chicken facts - so, obviously, they are putting their community raising efforts into Facebook.  Probably a smart move.

So..... are you in Virginia Beach and would you like to have your own chickens and fresh eggs?  

Then you should be at the City Council meeting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on Tuesday, January 8th at 6 PM.  The chicken supporters will be out in force!

I can attest to the fun of having chickens as pets and egg producers (we don't eat our chickens).  They are only a little work. They need a cozy, weatherproof coop and a safe, fenced run in which to exercise and play.  Probably bigger than a lot of the photos I see on Pinterest and elsewhere.  For 3 - 4 hens, probably 10' x 10' would do.

 Don't be fooled by the cutesy coops with only about three square feet of walking room.  Keep them healthy -  give them room to forage, stretch and play.

And hens are quiet.
They have a delightful, happy burble and chirp as they forage for food. it's comforting and very relaxing.  (I suspect the true "OM" of the universe is expressed in the gentle burbling of chickens.)

Their loudest noise is probably the proud "Bwawk! Bwawk!" that signals another egg has been laid - or that something has distressed them.

With a little good feed, my hens to great on scraps, garden weeds and greens and lots of summer worms and bugs.  They are like small, animated rototillers, scratching away for goodies.  And you should see what happens when I plant veggies into an area where the chickens have been working.  Wow!!

I'll be supporting my "townie" friends who want a few hens,
so look for me in my new Chicks at the Beach t-shirt!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why Didn't I Plant Winter Lettuce???

I'm so bummed.  If I had realized it was going to be this balmy all the way to January, I'd have put in winter lettuce.  <sigh>

After the frigid drops last year, which blasted all my hopeful lettuce plants, I had decided not to bother.  Now that the farmers markets have closed and I'm looking forlornly at supermarket lettuce, I'm thoroughly peeved that I didn't put a few rows of lettuce in one of the raised beds and take my chances.

Drat.  A good harvest missed!  Is anyone getting a wonderful lettuce/greens season in?  The local farm stands were still full when the season ended last week.