“Did you know that Seattle started the trend in chicken coop tours?” Tilth asks. “Did you know there’s a trend in chicken coop tours?” I ask.
Apparently, the answer is yes. Here’s what Tilth has to say:
Seattle’s Urban Farmers Invite the Public to Visit for A Day
Seattle Tilth Offers 14th Chicken Coop & Urban Farm Tour on July 12
Did you know that Seattle started the trend in chicken coop tours? The first U.S. coop tour was held in Seattle in 2000, organized by Seattle Tilth, and now there are dozens across the country from Boston, to Atlanta, Chicago, Silicon Valley and many places in between. Seattle Tilth started the event as a way to get people interested in keeping chickens and producing a source of fresh eggs in their own backyards.
Now in it’s 14th year, Seattle Tilth’s Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour is a self-guided tour. People can select sites to visit among “Seattle’s Top 25” urban farms throughout Seattle on Saturday, July 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online for $12 or $5 for kids, with discounts for groups, bicyclists and Seattle Tilth members. Tickets can also be purchased at Portage Bay Grange, Central Co-op, Walt’s Organic Fertilizer, City People’s, Next to Nature and Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands.
Hosts apply for the tour in the spring and sites are chosen by a panel of judges. Highlights will include mini dairy goats (including baby “kid” goats), turkeys, pollinator pathways, art-infused gardens, diverse heritage chicken breeds, meat rabbits, honey bees and innovative aquaponic systems that allow people to have fish as a source of food in their urban yards.
The chicken coops show an impressive display of ingenuity, both practical and fanciful. Many hosts use recycled materials, compost manure, harvest rain water, use solar energy and have other systems that creatively conserve natural resources onsite. All of our hosts have vast knowledge about their animals and gardens and are happy to share what they’ve learned so others can participate in raising urban livestock and creating productive gardens in their communities.
Many of the hosts have fun names for their sites including, “Feathered Fish Farm,” “41 Legs Urban Farm,” “Big Belly of the Earth Farm,” “Urban Farm Schoolhouse,” “City Art Farm,” and “Roosevenna Rancheria.” Jake Harris, host of the “Stone Soup Coop,” has a unique chicken tree bungalow where his birds brood. His site also includes a mushroom farm, lending library, edible native plant nursery and a stone compost system.
Judges choose awards in the following categories: “Community Star” for the most community-oriented coop or garden, “Sustainable Oasis” for the best use of permaculture and sustainable practices, “Garden to the Max” for the most efficient use of space and “Frugal Urban Farmer” for the most economical/affordable design. Tour attendees can vote for the “People’s Choice Award” online after the event.
There’s a preview photo album on their Facebook page if you want to get a taste of what’s to come.