June 2009 Archives

June 30, 2009

Why Are Chickens Leading the Sharing Revolution?

Now that The Sharing Solution is officially released, Emily and I have spent much of the past few weeks talking - on the radio and in bookstores - to people about sharing. I love it when people respond with their sharing stories and ideas, many of which will ultimately make their way on to this blog.

But I NEVER would have guessed that one of the most frequent comments we hear is: "Oh, my neighbor and I have been thinking about sharing chickens!" The first time I heard this, it was charming. Cool idea, I thought. But now we've heard it again....and again....and AGAIN! Chicken sharing, chicken clubs, coop-building parties, and all kinds of people who are really putting the "coop" in "cooperative."

Chicken sharing actually makes a lot of practical sense. Let's say you, like most people, eat eggs, and you are thinking about getting chickens (and by that, I really mean hens; roosters make noise, not eggs, and they are often illegal to keep in high-density residential areas). If you live in an urban or even suburban area, this could meaning devoting a significant portion of your yard to building a coop and giving the chickens a little free range. Many people wouldn't go to all of this effort for just one or two chickens. But what if you get 15 chickens, have a coop building party with seven of your neighbors, and start taking turns caring for the chickens? You could even take down part of a fence so that the chickens can have more space to roam into your neighbor's yard. Each neighbor is assigned one day of the week to feed the chickens and collect eggs.

What do you get? Fifteen hens will produce, on average, around 7 dozen eggs per week. This means that each neighbor will have a dozen fresh and delicious eggs. If that sounds good, take a look at www.backyardchickens.com, which has all kinds of great resources to get you started.

Chicken sharing is very much in line with the movement to eat fresh, local, organic, and sustainably produced food, so it makes sense that many people are turning to chicken sharing. And I imagine that chicken sharing will naturally lead to other kinds of sharing in the neighborhood. If I had a dozen or more eggs per week, I'd probably make a few quiches and share them with the neighbors, which might lead to more regular meal exchanges. Maybe we'd plan a monthly brunch potluck. Maybe start a shared vegetable garden in another neighbor's yard, and start cooperating to compost all of our food scraps. Maybe start a dog-walking rotation, or a child care cooperative. The possibilities are endless.

So I still don't know which came first -- I just know that both the chicken and the egg are at the forefront of a movement, and that every neighborhood with a chicken club has already hatched a small sharing revolution.

June 9, 2009

The Sharing Solution: Come to Our Events!

Want to hear more about The Sharing Solution and even join the conversation? Here's a listing of some of our upcoming radio shows and bookstore readings. Hope you can be there or tune in!

Listen to Emily and Janelle
Tues., June 9, 5:30 pm PT
With Jonathan Rowe, KWMV  "American Off-Line"
Point Reyes, CA

Listen to Janelle
Wed., June 10, 6:30 am PT
With Jan Miyasaki, WORT-FM "The 8:00 Buzz"
Madison, WI 

Listen to Emily and Janelle
Wed., June 10, 9:05 am PT
With Frankie Boyer, WROL, WSRO "The Frankie Boyer Show;"
Boston, MA

Listen to Emily
Thurs., June 11, 9:30 am
WGDR "Relocalizing Vermont,"
Plainfield, VT

Listen to Emily and Janelle
Thurs., June 11, 4:00 pm PT
Jeff Farias

Sharing Solution Launch Party at the Berkeley Ecology Center
Friday, June 12 at 7:00pm
2530 San Pablo Avenue
Berkeley, CA

Listen to Emily
Sun., June 14, 12:30 p.m. PT
KKUP, "The Wimmin's Music Program"
Santa Cruz, CA

Listen to Emily and Janelle
Tues., June 16, 5:00 pm PT
With Jean Ponzi,  KDHX "Earthworm"
St. Louis, MO

Reading at Laurel Book Store
Thursday, June 18 at 7:00pm
4100 MacArthur Blvd. (Laurel District)
Oakland, CA

Reading at Copperfield's Bookstore

Thursday, June 25 at 7:00pm
138 North Main Street
Sebastapol, CA

Listen to Emily and Janelle
Mon. June 22, 11:00 am PT
With Patricia Raskin, "Positive Living" Voice America

Reading at A Great Good Place for Books
Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00pm
6120 LaSalle Avenue (Montclair neighborhood)
Oakland, CA

Listen to Emily and Janelle
Thurs., July 9, 8:00 pm PT
With John Ford, KAOS
Evergreen, WA
Listen to Janelle
Mon, July 13, 10:00 am PT
With France Kassing, KDVS 90.3 FM
University of California - Davis

Listen to Emily and Janelle
Mon., July 13, 6:00 pm PT
With Jone Devlin, KPFT (Pacifica) "Lesbian and Gay Voices"
Houston, TX
Reading at Diesel, A Bookstore
Wednesday, July 29 at 7:00pm
5433 College Avenue (Rockridge neighborhood)
Oakland, CA