Tour de Coops in Portland Oregon is a fantastic self guided tour of backyard chicken coops throughout the city organized by www.growing-gardens.org. The urban chicken movement is strong in Portland, and urban homesteaders and chicken raising masters in the neighborhoods East of the Willamette River have some of the best backyard coops in the business.
The coops are home made, or manufactured, or customized, or pulled together with frugal ingenuity. They are a parade of homes for backyard hens. Anyone wanting to know how to raise chickens in the city would love this tour. I should have taken a tour like this when I was building coops for my chickens, but instead, I re-invented the concept. The results are some of the ruefunniest parts of “Just a Couple of Chickens”, my book on raising chickens the hard way.
I was all ready to go! The Tour de Coops usually takes place in July, and tickets go on sale a couple of weeks before the event and sell out fast. But then I discovered that the organizers of the fun event decided to take a haitus for 2012 and get their ducks in a row regarding how to do next year’s tour. So I’ve marked my calendar for 2013 and took a little time to look into the details and history of the event.
Growing-gardens.org is an award winning organization that mobilizes voluteers to build local organic raised bed vegetable gardens in low income neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon. They run several outreach programs centered around sustainable food gardens in city environments. They host workshops that help urban homesteaders get started farming in the city.
The 2011 Tour de Coops was the 8th annual and it’s a well-known Portland event. I was particularly looking forward to seeing how people matched their coops to their house architecture. I noticed some very creative coops last year during my walks around town.
I’ll keep watch for the Tour 2013, and maybe by then I’ll have my own coop stashed in my urban farm backyard… not that I’m counting my chicks before they hatch or nuttin’.