Friday, April 25, 2008

green kiwis: the chook house

Happy Earth Day.
Don't roll your eyes at me, read on, this one's got a music video too.

Nothing says domestic bliss like feeding your own chickens in your pajamas, as Bella demonstrates below. So Sara asked Doug for some chickens for Christmas.

As you'll know if you've been following this blog, Doug's no ordinary dad. If someone's kid wants to go fishing he'll help 'em hook an ancient eel with rabbit for bait
(see, and so on.

So, when Sara said she wanted chickens Doug elected to give them to her in style and went about converting the family carport into a chook-house.

He built the house out of entirely reclaimed materials, mostly from the farm.

Here, progress continues. That old red door is one of my favorites.

So, after a few months of after-dinner construction, the house was ready for its first tenants. Sara, Bella and I hit the road for Roxburgh, home of:

We got our first chickens at McLean's, three saucy redheads from Roxburgh.

Sara just went for it and stuck them on their perch as if she'd been chicken farming her whole life.

On the ride home from MacLean's we asked Bella what she thought we should do to make the chickens feel welcome. Without hesitation, she answered, "sing them 'Twinkle Star.'" So that's what we're doing here. I think it's actually a nice thing to do for any house guest or new roommate--sort of breaks the ice.

Eventually we added four more to the family, as Sara felt having three that all looked alike was pretty boring.

The shot below shows the chook-house in the background in its frontyard context, just to give you an idea. This photo was actually taken for, which Moose is using to try to compete with me for the distinction of having the slowest-updating blog.

Today the New York Times ran a story about the gross carbon footprint of food imported from far away. The cover girl for the article was none other than the kiwi, which is enjoying a longer selling season now that the Italians have poached New Zealand's national fruit.

So Sara and Doug, my favorite kiwi-fruits, are totally spot-on as usual. Bella's not only collecting five eggs a day from "the girls," she's also bringing all the kitchen scraps out for them to eat. Neighboring kids like Harry (above) are totally into it too.

They're not doing it for the bragging rights (which are extensive), or even because Michael Pollan told them to:
It's just a labor of love and fun. What's more environmentally-friendly fun than hunting around for old hinges and singing lullabies to poultry? If you find something, especially something that I can do now that I'm back in Brooklyn, let me know.

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