Books on Chickens & Gardening


New Book: The Chicken Encyclopedia by Gail Damerow

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Review of Gail Damerow's new book The Chicken Encyclopedia: An Illustrated Reference

Reading Gail Damerow’s new book The Chicken Encyclopedia: An Illustrated Reference I was sent back to the time when my family and I were first looking into keeping backyard chickens. We’d found a handful of very helpful books on the subject. But something about the format of your standard chapter-by-chapter book left us feeling overwhelmed — like we had to understand the whole book, or we wouldn’t be prepared to get started.

The Chicken Encyclopedia is different. (more…)

New Book: Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and while I’m admittedly biased in this case — that’s a real-life Garden Coop chicken coop in the background of the cover shot! — garden designer Jessi Bloom’s new book Free-Range Chicken Gardens is as lush and inspiring as the chicken paradise featured on the front.

The premise of the book is simple: how do you best integrate chickens into a backyard vegetable or permaculture garden. Bloom does a wonderful job of showing you how, drawing not only from her own experience as a garden designer and chicken keeper, but also from the experiences of a diverse group of chicken gardeners she profiles throughout the book.

Topics covered include all the basics of keeping backyard chickens plus how to create a plan for a chicken-friendly garden and what plants to include/avoid in your chickens’ day yard. The illustrations are clear. Kate Baldwin’s photos are gorgeous.

Seriously, if I were a chicken, I’d want to live in this book — or at least in one of the gardens featured in this book — one of which is the handiwork of horticulturalist Alana Meyer. Alana’s sumptuous Washington State garden adorns the book’s cover along with the chicken coop she built using The Garden Coop plans and her own two hands.

Have you read Jessi’s book? Follow her blog? Leave a quick comment and let us know what you think, what you’ve learned, and what you’ve been inspired to do with your garden and chickens.

Chicken Resources On The Web

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

In case you’ve never happened on to it, John Henderson has curated one of the best lists of links to chicken forums, hatcheries, breed info, and resources for chicken health, care, and processing. It’s an excellent place for any small-flock chicken keeper to start.

Also included on his page are several links to early 20th-century books on chicken keeping, which make for fascinating reading. Everything old is new again, right? Bookmark Henderson’s Handy-Dandy Chicken Breed Chart as well for the next time you’re selecting chicks.

Chicken Keeping Basics article in Neighborhood Notes

Monday, February 7th, 2011

I just spotted this article with good tips for new chicken keepers. It features advice from Robert and Hannah Litt of Portland’s Urban Farm Store, authors of the upcoming book A Chicken In Every Yard.

Also in the article is a photo of a beautifully built Garden Coop, right in the front yard of someone’s Portland home (not mine!). Of course, I think it fits in perfectly. Take a look.

Extraordinary Chickens Calendar 2011

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Extraordinary Chickens Calendar 2011Chickens are extraordinary. Even the ordinary ones we keep in our backyard chicken coop and see around town — Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Australorps, Americaunas. . .

But there are chickens, and then there are chickens. The latter you’ll find in this wall calendar, new for 2011.

Note: We don’t profit from links to, but if you follow one and make a purchase, Powell’s will share a healthy portion of the sale price with Growing Gardens of Portland.

It’s (extraordinary chicken) calendar time

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Extraordinary Chickens Wall Calendar

I stopped in at People’s Food Co-op this weekend for a head of cabbage, some flour, a bag of. . . wait, you don’t care about that. On their rotating stand of wall calendars, this one jumped out at me. The back cover says it’s based on this book.

And here I thought our flock of standard laying breeds was fun to look at.

Note: We don’t profit from any of these links to, but if you follow them and make a purchase, Powell’s will share a healthy portion of the sale price with Growing Gardens of Portland.