Believe it or not, our journey all started with 4 free chickens. We thought that's where it would start and end but within weeks we realized why people are so passionate about urban farming. It's rewarding, entertaining, healthy, and downright addicting!
The four OG's Karen, Charlene, Ginger, and Charlotte, first day home!
During the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I was using some extra free time to source materials for my small woodworking business which was primarily focused on using reclaimed materials for home decor and furniture at the time. By chance I got in contact with a local small scale farmer in Guelph who was downsizing and moving into a condo. We spent several days returning to buy odds and ends of random antique barrels, wood, and other items to be repurposed for rustic decor. Each time we went Taylor and I admired their humble flock of 30 hens free range behind their barn. I still can't quite explain why but they're some of the most entertaining animals with far more personality than we would have ever known. Taylor kept eyeballing the hens, jokingly saying we need to buy some. At the time we knew nothing about keeping any farm animals and basically had no agricultural knowledge so it remained a joke for a while.
During the last visit one of us finally asked what the plan with the hens would be and as it turned out they didn't want them. They were all being donated to a butcher to simplify moving, so they offered them to us for free. We thought about it for a few days and finally thought hey, we have this rancid old brick shed out back... maybe we could use that? After a thorough cleaning of the shed I built some basic perches, nesting boxes, drilled drainage holes for the floor and vent holes at the top. After designing a simple wooden arch and gate with t-bar posts and chicken wire fencing we were ready to go with a large coop and chicken run well oversized for 4 hens.
We decided to stick with a humble 4 chickens to start simply to supply eggs for ourselves and have a little fun with the birds. Maybe it was the way each hen ran up and every morning to greet us, or the funny curious look they always had but something made us simply love them to death and we knew we needed more. We quickly found ways to expand to learn more and enjoy new birds. All in the same year we dabbled into many different breeds of chickens (including some tough roosters) as well as turkeys, ducks, quail, and rabbits, and more. Not to mention, call us crazy but we hatched many chicks and ducklings in our house. We couldn't believe how different each animal was and how much unique personality they all actually had.
Before you knew it we were encouraging friends and family to begin learning about urban farming and backyard chickens. We realized (especially during a global pandemic) this hobby is incredibly rewarding and grounding to just about everyone who tries it. We've quickly educated ourselves and connected with people with much more experience and knowledge to bring ourselves to a point where we can already help others enter this important sustainable hobby.
This brings us to today, where we want to focus our efforts on supporting others to enter this hobby through supplying unique animal products and through educating those who seek it. Every day people can enjoy small urban farming practices and can ultimately play a really important role in pushing consumer demand further toward sustainable, ethical, and healthy foods. Our wood shop is now designed primarily to develop products to support these practices as well as to support better animal and pet care in general. Our social media and blogs will be updated to provide DIY guides and care tips on homesteading along with updates on our products. Ultimately we hope this helps educate people while helping to provide the physical ability to be a part of the urban and sustainable farming movement.
To us, nothing matters more than to feed our families and community with good natural foods that are fair to the animals and earth that provides them, and to enjoy these experiences with people who share these values.