The growing popularity of raising urban livestock has made its way to the the backyards of Phoenix. Tucked away in quiet corners of your neighbor's property are small flocks of chattering chickens. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have a flock of your own, now is your chance. On December 5th from 10:00 to 3:00, the Phoenix Permaculture Guild will host it's first Tour de Coop. In this self-guided tour, fellow keepers-of-chickens from around the Phoenix area, will open their coops and let you take a peek. We, at Sweet Life Garden are excited to be a participant in this event. We have reorganized the compost piles, pulled a few weeds, touched up the garden gate, and of course the chickens have tidied up their coops. Sadly, our egg output has decreased because of all the excitement! If you are contemplating fresh eggs, cackling hens, and a little of the urban farm life but don't know where to start, stop by and say hello. Tickets and maps are $10.00, and available at each coop location or through the Phoenix Permaculture Guild.
My husband and I have been gardening for many years, not so much for the food security, but for the beauty, satisfaction, and peace that gardening and growing things bring you. We started small, a couple of tomatoes, a few zucchini, and lots of flowers. It didn't really matter how much we harvested. We really didn't eat from our garden. We didn't know how. The lettuce was always a little bitter . The tomatoes always had holes in them and there was a Safeway just down the street. The important thing was that we were having fun. We loved working together with our children beside us. There is something comforting about watching your kids play in the dirt or happily run down the brick paths with nowhere to go. Our garden was the center of the earth ,we were firmly planted there and that was all that mattered. A couple of years ago, something important started to take place. A shift began to take shape, not only to us , but to our communities. The meaning of food began to change. Where the food came from, what was in it and how it nourishes us. Perhaps the connection between what we eat and how we feel finally began to set in. For us, it was time to get serious. It was time to eat from our garden.
" I am a mad gardener. I mutter and rant, and at night I shake dry seeds out of my unruly mane of hair. The garden is in my bones, in my gut, and in my hands. "
Wendy Johnson , Gardening at the Dragons Gate
Inch by inch, row by row Gonna make this garden grow Gonna mulch it deep and low Gonna make it furtile ground
Inch by inch, row by row Please bless these seeds I sow Please keep them safe below 'Till the rain comes tumbling down
Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones We are made of dreams and bones Need a place to call my own 'Cause the time is close at hand
Grain for grain, sun and rain Find my way in nature's chain Tune my body and my brain To the music of the land
Plant your rows straight and long Season them with prayer and song Mother Earth will make you strong If you give her love and care An old crow watches hungrily from his perch on younder tree In my garden I'm as free as that feathered bird up there