We took part in Portland’s Tour de Coops again this year, and the turnout was incredible. A few hundred people streamed through our yard on a hot Saturday in late July to see our two coops and our (now) eight hens and to ask questions.
We saw several familiar faces, including a few past customers who stopped by to say hi and show us pictures of their coops. Visitors spanned all ages and types. If you ever hear someone say that keeping chickens or growing your own food is an ‘elitist’ endeavor, send them to me.
Better yet, send them to Growing Gardens. This is the non-profit group that puts on the Tour de Coops each year to raise funds in support of its mission: to help Portlanders grow their own food, especially those without the resources to get started. Growing Gardens’ staff and volunteer teams dig the gardens, provide the seeds and training, and follow up with each new gardener for a couple of years. They have a model that works, and we love supporting them.
This year’s tour raised three times as much money for Growing Gardens as last year’s. For our part, we built and donated a Garden Ark (pictured here) as one of two Grand Prizes in the raffle—more than 500 tickets sold, raising a couple thousand dollars! We also gave Growing Gardens all of the proceeds from any plans we sold as a result of the event.
Thanks to everyone who came out. And if you missed it, or live somewhere else, check our national coop tour schedule for the next tour near you.