Henside the Beltline: Urban Chickens, Baby!

backyard chickensFriends, May is shaping up to be Quite Full of fun.  You might remember my post about the Henside the Beltline Tour d'Coop last year.  If not, here is a Refresher.  Having just gone back and read the post myself, I see that we were Ripe for raising chickens.  I had just read Eating Animals, and The Beloved and I were trying to figure out how to eat ethically--for us.

Fast-forward a year, and we are, indeed, raising our own chickens along with our neighbors.  We rarely buy "store eggs" anymore, and we are eating as Compassionate Omnivores as much as possible.  That's what I'm calling it, anyway.  When we do eat meat, we want to know where it came from, how it was raised, and how it was slaughtered.  Free range, happy animals who all had, as Michael Pollan has so eloquently put it, "a happy life and just one really bad day."

In the future, this may very well change.  But for now, we do eat happy meat with the occasional "cheat" for some pepperoni pizza or something.

At any rate, back to the Henside the Beltline Tour.  Guess what?  It's coming up again!  Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 21 from 10am-4pm.   If you're interested in raising chickens, or even if you're interested in just the possibility of raising backyard chickens, it really is a Must-Do.  We're going again, and this time, we're Chicken Insiders!  Yay, us!

As an added bonus--and it really is; I'm not just saying that--lots of the folks who are keeping chickens in Raleigh have Very Cool Yards.  Some of them have no-mow lawns.  Many of them use found objects in really interesting ways, keeping junk out of landfills.  Some have been able to maximize garden space by underplanting their shrubs with vegetables.  If you are the least bit into green living and eco-system maintenance (and keeping chickens is a logical extension of that), you will come away with a ton of great ideas for living more in harmony with nature--pesticide free, chemical free, happy lawns for everyone.  And their chickens.

Here are some pictures that the delightful Rick Bennett, one of the organizers of the Henside the Beltline tour, sent me.  Click on the thumbnail for a closer look.

If you live anywhere near the Raleigh area and are interested in raising backyard chickens or in sustainable, low-mow or no-mow lawns, or water features, or urban gardening, or you just like to walk through people's back yards, you should seriously make an effort to attend this year's tour.  You buy your ticket with either some money or some non-perishable food items, and 100% of the money raised goes to Urban Ministries.

Check out this interview with Rick Bennett on Channel 14 News Carolina.  The tour also has a shiny new website, referenced in the video.  But here it is, too.

Disclosure:  Rick asked me to write a post to announce the Tour and sent me a few pictures.  I wasn't compensated in any other way, and I am a huge fan of the tour and probably would have written about it again even if he hadn't asked me.  And, if I haven't made myself clear, you really should go!


  1. says

    I really enjoyed reading “Eating Animals”, my mom has egg laying hens and those are the only eggs I eat 🙂 I think it’s really cool that you raise your own animals and are eating consciously. The world needs more people like you! I am trying to do a vegan/vegetarian diet 5-6 days a week, these days I pay a lot of attention to what I buy and eat.

    • says

      Sounds like we’re on more-or-less the same eating path. We end up eating vegetarian most of the time, using happy meat occasionally, eggs from the girls almost exclusively and Organic milk. I need to find out about cheese, though…
      Even if not everyone decides to change the way they eat, I think that everyone should know where their food comes from, how it was raised and how it was killed. At the very least, they need to honor that sacrifice, you know? 🙂

  2. says

    I know I’m horribly late in commenting here, but “Having just went back”?!?! Say it ain’t so, Jenni. This is the one grammatical error I constantly have to correct my husband on (although I think now he just does it to bug me, like when he does his George W Bush or Sling Blade impressions). Please tell me that was for ironical purposes.

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