Denver Green Channel

The roots of the sustainability movement in Denver

Crossing The Road

by Robbie - October 10th, 2010.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

Class chicken

In my constant effort to Walk That Walk, I’ve been preparing to create a small homesteading operation in the ‘burbs of Wheat Ridge.  In Wheat Ridge, where we reside across the street from a grammar school and a horse farm, no permit is necessary for small livestock.  You can have chickens, rabbits, even goats or a small cow if you provide and care for them properly.

We bought an extra-fancy chicken coop because we liked it, we were too short on time at the time to build one, and because even though we live in a farm-friendly area I consider us to be, at least to a point, ambassadors for the Radical Homemaker Movement (or just pick the name of your favorite movement that supports living closer to home and more independently and insert it here).  I’m very aware that my neighbors all water their emerald-green lawns with great pride; they also pick up their children from school right across the street from the house.  So, a certain degree of neighbor-conscious pulchritude is called for.

The coop is painted barn red with white trim and barn-style detailing; the sign I’m making will read, “Little Deuce,” because when you’ve worked in radio for 20 years your brain is a search engine for musical jokes.  The Man painted our shed to match, so the “Ranch” as we call it is starting to look like it just might pull itself together and be somebody (well, shoot, if a corporation can be a somebody, why can’t the Ranch?).

We’re still finishing up the maximum-security fencing unit that will protect both chickens and future Angora rabbits from great horned owls, red-tailed hawks, foxes, raccoons, the coyote pack that lives 3 blocks away in  the wildlife sanctuary and various neighborhood cats and dogs. We’ve also got the galvanized aluminum cans to safely hold feed and bedding, the feeders, the oyster shells and grit and plenty of straw.

Since we’re so close to Bird Appropriation Time I took the chicken-keeping class at Denver Urban Homesteading, and I couldn’t have been happier with it.  Aimee (pron:Eye-May) Ayers of Manifested Wings is entertaining, charming and mind-bendingly knowledgeable.   She’s got a very relaxed, no-nonsense approach to teaching.  “There’s nothing mysterious or difficult about keeping poultry,” her demeanor seems to say; when you run into this attitude in people, you know you’ve run into a true expert.  A true expert never tries to muddy the information or make it more mysterious than it needs to be.  If you want a font of friendly information about keeping poultry, Aimee is your master instructor.  Here’s her site.

Although the Denver Green Channel is focused on local community figures, I will also include updates from my own adventures to live with less impact on food and energy systems and to live a more independent and let’s just spill it now, more pleasurable life, a life lived at a human pace rather than a Corporate, get-‘er-done-or-ELSE pace.  There’s nothing you can do about the frantic, belligerent pace of traffic, for instance, but if you drive less it sucks less energy out of you.

In the future, since we call the place “Ol’ Misfit Ranch” I’ll create a category and page for “Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch” updates, for those who might find them entertaining or useful.

6 Responses to Crossing The Road

  1. You inspired me yet again last night! We’ve decided to dig up part of the yard for raised beds! Starting to build the off ramp…

  2. Hats off to Wheatridge for fostering the Green Dream, kudos to DUH for real-izing a dream and three cheers for Robbie who is living it out loud with purpose and conscience!

    Robbie’s story reminds me of a homestead I shared in NM (known to locals as Rebecca’s Funnybrook Farm”)…takes me back to the sounds of the chicken yard, the smell the apple trees outside the window of my trailer and the sight of the rescue horses reaching up to grab them.

    I rent near Regis now and the double lot has been organic for 15 years…the only thing missing is chickens

  3. Nice, Deb! “Funnybrook” Farm is classic. The hard thing about a homestead in NM must’ve been the water issue, huh?

  4. Hi, Lora! Were you chatting on a homesteading site? I’m curious about the subject…?

  5. Excellent point, Gabriela! The decision to live more simply is particularly useful when you’re unemployed, like me, or just wanting to spend less on a daily basis; since I’ve grown more of my own food and cooked more and started keeping livestock and a compost pile, I’ve experienced what it’s like to be less wasteful. I’ve also saved a lot of money. Many of my friends still want to meet at a coffeehouse, for instance, and I try to lure them to a park with a thermos of chai and homemade muffins. It’s a very creative endeavor.

  6. Squeee! Sorry I’m so behind on this site. Getting caught up this week and I’ll stay caught up. Thanks for reading, Goddess! I’m here to support you in building that off-ramp!