Monday, April 27, 2009
And of course forsythia. We enjoy the bright yellow flowers on our forsythia bush every spring. They really are a touch of sunshine on a cloudy day :)
I have more photos coming. The magnolia tree has bloomed and is nearly done. Our apricot tree also had wonderful blossoms that attracted many bees. We've been told that it should be self-fertile so we'll see... And we did finally get a second cherry tree, this one is a black cherry called Stella. It will be a cross-pollinator for our Bing tree in the backyard.
Friday, April 17, 2009
So the word is spreading more and more. I owe a much of that to the local media. I didn't even have to contact them, they've all contacted me and that's a blessing because I'm certainly not an extroverted personality so this aspect has been very helpful.
Yesterday, the Iowa City Press-Citizen printed an opinion article that favored urban chickens and an Iowa City resident, Eric Johnson wrote an opinion letter also in support of chickens in our city. This is so wonderful, I love to see our community coming together like this.
Again, I want to urge people who are interested in raising urban chickens (or just want the right to do so if they choose) to contact city council. You can call our council members, write a letter or send an email. The more correspondence they receive from Iowa City residents (in addition to the petition), the greater our chances of getting chickens allowed in town.
It seems at this point the next steps are strategic ones. I've received several emails from interested residents who are anxious to have an organized effort. Organization is my friend, but I've never organized this type of effort so I'm turning to some pros for pointers and doing lots of research. I'm also adding new links to my sidebar for reference.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The article makes mention of Iowa City being a transient community. I agree that the student population is transient, however, I was born and raised in Iowa City and though I haven't lived here my entire life, I do intend to live here for many years to come. An argument based on the transient nature of the university student population creating an atmosphere of abandoned chickens once the academic cycle is complete sounds like a student-centered perspective.
The article also sites:
Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey — who said her grandmother owned chickens — said she was not interested in supporting such a move because supporting local business leads to a more dynamic economy, but she is interested in hearing what others have to say regarding the matter.
I appreciate the fact that our Mayor Regenia Bailey is open to hearing the opinions of the residents. Contrary to the assumption that allowing property owners to raise urban hens would negatively affect local businesses, one must consider the businesses that will be supported as a result: Orscheln Farm & Home sells the chicks, feeders & waterers, chicken feed, heat lamps, etc., other local businesses supply wood, chicken wire, and other supplies for building coops. These local businesses will certainly be well supported.
If a more dynamic economy is what we're looking for, how about local grocers choose to buy and sell eggs from local producers and skip the suppliers that factory farm their chickens in huge chicken houses where the chickens live under constant lighting to produce more eggs, sit in their own poop and never see the light of day only to ship their eggs hundreds of miles to the consumers all for the sake of saving a buck?
That's not really what this is about. People are just afraid of the unknown. It's been a long time since chickens were legally raised in Iowa City's city limits and somehow there are people who feel like their urban lifestyle will be threatened by a few hens next door. If the chickens are well kept, neighbors will have to look for them before noticing they're there. They're less of a nuisance by far than my barking dog in the backyard. But she's legal, and she doesn't even lay eggs for food ;) I should be done now. Ha!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I was anxious to see how soon the article would be printed and much to my surprise it was already online, including a link to the online petition. Click here to see the article. Very exciting. I had no idea that the article was also published in the newspaper (not just online) and learned from my father-in-law who paid $150 to get his mother's obituary on page four, that the article about urban chickens was printed on the front page... for free! Thanks for the guilt trip Mike ;)
This is all moving along at a pace I never could have anticipated. I have to credit answered prayer for that. Cam and I prayed the night before I started the petition that God would give favor to our efforts on the chicken front. And now we not only have a great start on a petition which has only been live for 2 days and already has 226 signatures (minus a chunk of 30 or so false signatures from jokers such as "Cornal Sanders" and "Rainbow Sunshine" who touted comments like, "Finally, I always wanted a big cock!" and "don't stop at chickens, lets legalize hemp for medicinal reasons..." I had to giggle at that once since hemp is not the same thing as it's cousin, mind altering marijuana, but whatever. Some people have nothing better to do.
The next several days are quite busy for us as we attend Grandma Maxine's funeral tomorrow, clean house and prepare for Adi's birthday party on Friday, host the birthday party on Saturday and celebrate Easter on Sunday. And we have another newspaper article to look forward to for tomorrow as well. This one will be in the Daily Iowan, I'll post a link as soon as I see it.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Please consider contacting the City Council and signing the online petition on the right side of this page :) Thanks!