Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You have WHAT??!

The above is a common reaction when I mention that we're raising chickens and starting our own little farm in San Francisco's foggy Richmond District.

So, what possessed me to turn my back sand lot (because it really could not be called a backyard) into a little piece of urban heaven? I really don't know. I'd been actively trying to tame the sand and weeds for 7 years planting flowers, putting in a jungle gym for the kids, laying mulch, building raised beds and experimenting with growing veggies and flowers. It looked pretty but I felt it lacked something.

And then, on July 4th last year, I went to the Marin County Fair and fell in love with the chickens. I had to have chickens! They'd eat the weeds, they'd give me eggs, they'd make great compost! So I ordered up an Egglu from Omlet along with 3 18-week old hens and 2 weeks later I had chickens.

In late August, I ran across an article in the SF Chronicle about a new company called myfarmsf.com that would install, maintain and harvest veggies for you. I liked the idea, but didn't want to give up my involvement in the garden. MyFarm assured me I could work as much as I wanted in the garden. I thought 'why not': they'll lay the drip irrigation and do the crummy winter gardening. Great deal!

And now, as of last week, I have 2 very tall bee hives nestled into the back corner of my yard. The bees haven't been installed yet (not until late March) but there seems to be a lot of bees hanging out around the hives. My hope with the hives is that the bees will help pollinate the flowers and veggies plus we'll get yummy honey.

What's next? I'm hoping the city will let windmills be installed. We may not have sun in the Richmond, but we certainly have wind!


  1. What a great blog. As a former Tennessean and now inner Richmond resident, I would love to hear some cock-a-doodle-dos in the hood!

  2. Hi Alice and Isa--I am a photographer working on a project photographing urban farming in the bay area--what you are doing sounds great and I would love to talk to you about your farm and make a plan to come and photograph some activities --you can see my work at my website karenpreuss.com--please give me a call--thanks--Karen Preuss

    Karen Preuss
    101 Ross Street
    Cotati, CA 94931


  3. I heard an interview on the radio today and rushed to the computer to find out more about how you make the gardening work. Although I am not in an urban area, I want something small that the children and I can manage...

  4. Wow I would love to learn more on gardening and raising chickens. How do I find out more? Thanks so much! onlocation02@juno.com