Archive for Tour de Coops

Growing Gardens 8th Annual Tour de Coops!

We are inspired by the creativity of Portland’s urban chicken keepers and we think you will be too.  That’s why we’re excited about our 2011 Tour de Coops!

Saturday, July 16 – 10am-3pm

There are 22 amazing coops on this year’s tour.  From green roofs to cob building, water catchment features to repurposed materials, you will see lots of fantastic coops some lucky chickens call home.  Navigating the tour is easy.  You can get out of your car and bike or walk because we organized the coops into neighborhood clusters.

The ticket to the tour is the booklet. Booklets are $15 and one booklet is good for a group of people.  The booklets include pictures, descriptions, maps and our comprehensive list of coop building tips.  Booklets are on sale Friday, July 8 – 1pm Saturday, July 16.  You can pick up your booklet at one of the following locations:

Garden Fever! – 3433 NE 24th Ave.

Urban Farm Store – 2100 SE Belmont St.

People’s Co-op – 3029 SE 21st Ave.

All of the booklet sales locations will also be selling raffle tickets to win The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop built in a Growing Gardens workshop, taught by John Carr from The Garden Coop  Raffle tickets are one for $5 or three for $12.

you can also order snazzy Tour de Coops 2011 Henlandia t-shirts online!

Want a sneak peak of what you’ll see on the tour? Here is Mitchell Snyder and Shelley Martin’s coop in NE Portland.

Photo by John Clark

“With backgrounds in architecture, we approached the design and building of our coop with much consideration.  We thought about the best location, the space, what materials would be most appropriate and durable, and how our hens would use their new home.  Comfort and protection from the elements were most important for our hens, so we framed the walls to allow insulation to keep them warm in the winter while providing multiple ventilation options and a green roof for hot summer months.  Inside, two perches made from branches are comfortable resting places, and two egg boxes can be accessed through a long door on the outside of the run.  the run is fully enclosed to provide protection from predators when we are not able to let our chickens in the yard.  The “kitchen” is a small, separate enclosure in the run that keeps the food dry and the water clean, and is easily accessible from the exterior for changing.  With those considerations in mind, we kept the design of the hen house as simple as possible while also – most importantly – keeping our hens as happy as possible.”

If any of you have ever gone on the tour or shown your coop on the tour, we’d love to hear from you. Tell us some of the inspiring things you saw or learned from all those creative coops.

We’d like to thank our Tour de Coops “Egg-cellent Layer Circle” Sponsors:

The Garden Coop

Concentrates, Inc.

Living Room Realtors

We hope to see you all on the tour next Saturday, July 16!

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2010 Tour de Coops in review

Growing Gardens’ annual Tour de Coops happened again this year on the weekend of July 24. As in past years, it went off with out a hitch and was enjoyed by both tour goers and the coop hosts themselves. Below is what a couple of the coop hosts had to say about the event.

Coop Host Vanessa Renwick

It was a hot day, a “panting chicken” day, but the Tour De Coop was a blast. Hundreds of people came by my yard and everyone was in the best mood, filled with chicken love, and love for unusual chicken coops. There was a mix of people who knew nothing about chickens, and people who were way into chickens. I heard the phrase” I love my chickens” more than a few times. I mistakenly thought most of the people on the tour would be people looking for designs to copy for building a coop, but a lot of people just plain love chickens I think! One of my chickens was broody and made a lot of funny noises as people opened the “Henitentiary coop” to see the inside. She probably was a bit confused by all of the attention.

Coop Host Ingrid Parmeter

So there I was, bright and early, pleased with how things looked and imagining a really relaxing day chatting with a few people about chickens and visiting with my friends.   Within fifteen minutes of the start time for the tour, my yard looked like this:

We were a super popular stop on the tour.  We projected that about 100-150 people came through our yard!  It was fun answering questions and chatting with people.  The tour-goers were some of the nicest folks ever conglomerated in one place.  They also had a lot of questions.  Top ones I remember were:

  1. How many chickens do you have?
  2. What breed is that one there?
  3. What about that one there?
  4. Have you had any problems with predators?

Question 2 and 3 made me realize that you should not do this tour if you don’t know exactly what your chickens are.  I only have one mystery chicken, but without fail, everyone wanted to know what she was.  After a while, I just made it up.  (“She’s a marans-australorpe cross.”) I was a little worried about what my husband was doing when faced with this question.  As much as he loves the chickens, he doesn’t really know what breeds they are.  If he doesn’t know what a chicken is, he calls it a barred rock.  That means we have 7 barred rocks.

Tour de Coops 2010 è finita!

A special thanks to all the coop hosts who helped make the 2010 Tour de Coops a success!

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