Chickens Love Colorado Springs!

IMG_2069-300x225Welcome to Hungry Chicken Homestead! Six hungry chickens live here as well as some other animals, and people who know where the food is stored.

The chickens love Colorado Springs and want to tell you about local farms and small businesses right here in our community!  Chickens know a thing or two about the importance of a good flock and good things to eat.  Likewise, people benefit from knowing their neighbors and knowing where to get good food!

Look around!  You’ll find stories about Colorado businesses and farms, stories about the Homestead and even listings telling you where to buy food grown or produced right here in our neck of the woods.

Wondering what to do with all that local food you can buy?  We offer food preservation and cooking classes too!

Sign up for Chickens on the Mailing List to get the class schedule, information about Colorado Springs locally owned businesses and homesteading events in your inbox!

We hope you’ll find a little inspiration for your own story too!

Water Bath Canning Workshop at Mountain Goat Lodge

Look at all that produce at the farmers market!  Don’t you wish you could save it? You can even buy it in bulk right now and save all kinds of money.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Austin Pears
For example, pears from a popular national grocery chain are $1.49/lb right now and we don’t even know where they came from or how long they’ve been on the shelf.  However, if you’re a member of Hunt or Gather‘s Buying Club, you could buy 25 lbs. of pears directly from the farmer for 80¢/lb. right now and can them for winter.  That’s a savings of 69¢ a pound or $17!

Well …. guess who has been invited to help facilitate such delicious savings by teaching a Water Bath Canning Workshop at the Mountain Goat Lodge on September 26?

No ... this isn't really me, but Raven is much more photogenic than I am.

No … this isn’t really me, but Raven is much more photogenic than I am.

Wanna go?  It will be a weekend of canning local produce, visiting with goats & chickens and relaxing at a B&B that doubles as a homestead. I’ll teach a two part water bath canning workshop on Saturday and Gina, the owner of the Lodge may even teach a class about goats or chickens on Sunday! You get a 10% discount on rooms that weekend if you sign up for my workshop, which makes it all the more enticing.

The schedule for the day will keep you occupied, but we’ll still have time to visit with the Lodge’s goats…

10am – noon: We’ll have some classroom and demonstration time. You’ll learn why canning works, its history and why it didn’t become popular until nearly 100 years after it was invented. We’ll cover how to prepare your jars and water bath, how to tell whether the jars have sealed and why you won’t get botulism.

Noon: Lunch on your own in Salida & maybe a nap or visit with the goats.

2PM – 5PM: We’ll can a complete recipe together, made from seasonal Colorado produce. It might be cherry amaretto jam, zucchini pickles, tomatoes or something else, depending on what the farmers are harvesting.

The workshop costs $65 per person and includes all instruction, handouts, recipes, supplies, ingredients and canned food to take home.  I know it sounds like a lot, but it will save you the tedium & confusion of canning alone and when you consider that a single 20 lb. box of organic tomatoes is around $55 (and possibly more than you need), you can see the value.

Spaces are limited, so sign up now! And then call the Mountain Goat Lodge at 719-539-7173 to book a room!

Colorado Springs Local Business: Clean N Jerky

Mischelle Marro of Clean n Jerky tells me she likes to talk and I believe it!  She was one of the first people to start a conversation with me at our gym, Progressive Fitness Crossfit when I first joined.

Colorado Springs Local Business Clean n Jerky 1Mischelle has done CrossFit since 2010, which is an important part of the story because she got in the best shape of her life.

And then, like so many people, she went a round with cancer.

“I flew through the radiation & chemo treatments,” she said.  She credits CrossFit and the Paleo diet for her quick recovery.

Colorado Springs Local Business Clean n Jerky 5Mischelle had worked in the restaurant industry for years when a CrossFit trainer inspired her idea to make Paleo friendly jerky.  Followers of the Paleo diet look for grass-finished beef and don’t eat sugar, but jerky found in the average grocery store often omits information about the source of its beef and a lot of them contain sugar.  Mischelle already had a relationship with the Maytag family of Maytag Ranch in Hillside, Colorado, a ranch that raises small herds of beef on pasture.  In fact, she had grown up on a ranch herself, so she knew her beef!

Colorado Springs Local Business Clean n Jerky 4Once she had settled the question of where to get high quality beef, Mischelle worked out a recipe with only a handful of ingredients.  Her products contain Colorado honey instead of white sugar for sweetness.  She also uses coconut aminos instead of the more common, but Paleo unfriendly, soy and worcestershire sauce.

“I like to eat and I like to eat clean,” she says.  “Cleanliness is the appeal.  The fewer items in the product, the more appealing it should be.”

Colorado Springs Local Business Clean n Jerky 2The name, Clean n Jerky, comes from an Olympic lift called the “Clean and Jerk”, used in CrossFit.  The name fits.  The product is “clean”, a term that means close to its natural origins and it’s jerky.

Mischelle has big dreams for Clean n Jerky.  She wants to see it sold in every CrossFit gym in the country.

“I want smokestacks … with jerky smoke,” she says, smiling.

For now, you can buy Clean n Jerky locally at the Colorado Farm and Art Market or at Mountain Mama Natural Foods.

“I like that doing this keeps me in the CrossFit community, which is like a family, ” Mischelle explained, “And it keeps me motivated to work out and do better.”

“CrossFit has given me life.”

 

 

Colorado Springs Local Farm: Gusty Ridge Ranch

My conversation with rancher Lisa Maggard about visiting Gusty Ridge Ranch went something like this:

Lisa:  “…You may even be able to see a brand new baby yak. Our first baby just arrived last week and we have 4 more on the way.”

Me: “A BRAND NEW BABY YAK!!! That would be AMAZING! Sorry to overwhelm you with capital letters. I’m very excited.”

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 6I always get very excited whenever I have an opportunity to see an animal I haven’t seen before, especially if it is a baby.

The tour started with a flock of silly baby turkeys.  The turkeys are silly enough that they need baby chickens as part of their flock or they won’t figure out how to eat or drink.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 13

Look closely. A silly baby turkey is hiding in this greenery.

 

Then we moved on to visit the chickens and their school bus coop with Lisa’s daughter carrying a chicken who had walked half a mile to visit her.  The chicken was probably too tired to walk back.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 1I got to see how this happens when we headed back towards the house.  Another chicken followed us the whole way.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 4The ranch is 100 acres, so we piled into the truck and drove out to see the yak herd.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 5They seemed pretty calm all and all, like big hairy cattle.  Lisa and I got out of the truck and we watched them for a few minutes.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 6One cow, a friend of Lisa’s named Wildfire, got up and began ambling towards us with her calf.  Lisa seemed perfectly calm, but I got a little nervous.  After all, it’s wise to be cautious around any large animal you aren’t personally acquainted with.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 9Eventually, Wildfire stopped and her calf hid under her.  I guess the calf was a little nervous too.  Wildfire inspected us patiently and then the two of them ambled off again.  We piled back into the truck to do more visiting.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 11Our next stop was the pasture with a rescue llama and a rescue donkey.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 12As you can see, both the llama and the donkey have made friends with one of the sheep.  The ranch has a herd of rare St. Croix sheep and this young ram spends his time out in the pasture with his friends.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch3The ewes and other lambs have quarters closer to the house.

Colorado Springs Local Farm Gusty Ridge Ranch 14So close to the house, in fact, that I almost got a picture of them lounging on the patio, in much the same way that my chickens lounge on my deck.

I didn’t take many notes during the interview since we spent most of our time traipsing around this big ranch, but I did learn that Gusty Ridge Ranch will soon have yak meat and lamb for sale.  They may get another school bus coop and more chickens, so keep an eye on them if you’re looking for local eggs.

Follow them on Facebook, a course I highly recommend, especially if you don’t have enough pictures of animals in your life.  In person or on social media, they will fill that gap for you.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

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Colorado Springs Local Business: Pocket Pals Trail Maps

Does this chicken look lost?

Is Randi LostI think she does, even though this picture was taken in her own yard.  Any chicken with straw on her back looks lost.  If she wasn’t so flustered, she’d notice how cute & silly she looks.

She’s probably lost because she didn’t get a good map, but I know somebody who can fix that.

Colorado Springs Local Business Pocket Pals Trail Maps 1I met with Julie Raber of Pocket Pals Trail Maps recently.  Honestly, when I think of people who make maps I imagine a man in medieval garb, probably on a ship with some sort of whimsical ghost-like creature blowing on it to make it move.  Julie isn’t like that at all.

She’s actually a twenty-first century person hiking shoes.  Julie and her husband moved to Colorado Springs 15 years ago and were really excited to explore the trails around here.  They are avid hikers to this day and had even met each other in a hiking group!  They picked up some maps and started hiking.

“We would get to a four way intersection, look at the map, look at the book, and we’d say, ‘I have no idea which way to go.'”, she says of their initial forays into our local wilderness.  “It was kind of like a guessing game.”

Most of us would buy yet another map or maybe just wander around aimlessly and hope we didn’t get hopelessly lost.  Not Julie.  It just so happens that she has a master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems and can do something called Geospatial Analysis.  If anyone is qualified to make a better map, it’s her!

Colorado Springs Local Business Pocket Pals Trail Maps 4And that’s exactly what she did!

“I love maps and I love hiking,” she explained.

For five years she and her husband had collected GPS data for fun, which meant that by the time Julie decided to make hiking maps they already had enough data for her to create a “base map” of the area.  When they hike, they collect more data and put it on the maps.  Then Julie adds notes about the trail from their experience.  It will say things like “don’t go left here” because they had gone left and it didn’t work out well.

You could say that the maps are sort of like having an experienced friend along on your hike, except that the friend is made of heavy paper that fits in your pocket, is easy to refold and won’t be ruined if you run it through the washing machine.

Colorado Springs Local Business Pocket Pals Trail Maps 3You can visit Pocket Pals website to see all the available trail maps or look at a sample.  You can also visit one of the several local retailers listed on the site who carry Pocket Pals to pick up one of these locally made maps.

This makes sense to me.  Who would make a better map of the Pikes Peak region’s trails than a person who lives and works here?

Colorado Springs Local Business Pocket Pals Trail Maps 2As for our chicken friend who is lost in the backyard, I suppose she’ll have to make her own map unless she can convince Julie to make one for her.  I don’t know where she’d keep it, though.  Chickens don’t have pockets.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Springs Local Business: Frayla Boutique

Tina Schwaner said something about her business, Frayla Boutique & Hair Salon, that no one ever said to me before, though it seems obvious now…

“This feeds my love for shopping.”

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 3I always think to myself that I don’t like shopping, but it’s not entirely true.  I love poking around in shops with unique handmade and local items.  And honestly, though I dress like a person who is conflicted over modern fashion’s approach to modesty, age appropriateness and the ever-impending CrossFit workout, I actually love pretty clothes.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 1Tina’s boutique is a great place to look around.  Frayla is a small, friendly hair salon (Tina is the only stylist).  She recounted how clients sometimes arrived early when she used to rent a booth in another salon.  Tina, a warm and thoughtful person, wanted everyone to feel welcome and enjoyed how waiting clients would participate in the conversation with her and her current client.

But wouldn’t it be nice, she thought to herself, if they could browse through interesting treasures at the same time?

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 6Frayla Boutique became a reality when she rented a space on E. Cheyenne Rd, between S. Cascade and Nevada.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 10The best part of the little boutique, in my opinion, is the variety of handmade, local and fair trade items.  I found glass beads made by Colorado Springs artist Michelle Hair of New Earth Beads.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 9

Frayla carries Giving Keys, a project that employs people transitioning out of homelessness.  You choose a key that speaks to you and wear it until you meet someone that seems to need it more.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 4Tina notes that she’s bought and given away a lot of keys.

Colorado Springs Local Business Frayla 7Frayla also carries Made with a Mission candles.  Made with a Mission recycles glass bottles into candles.  They have a partnership with the Springs Rescue Mission here in Colorado Springs.  Tina points out that if you buy a Made with a Mission candle and a Giving Key, you’ve supported three women owned businesses, employed homeless people in two states, upcycled a bottle and a key and you’ve given back to a local mission.  Not bad for one stop shopping!

Lotion Bar Cafe is also in Colorado Springs.

Lotion Bar Cafe is also in Colorado Springs.

Stop in at Frayla, even if you don’t need your hair done.  As Tina says, you’ll find Fashion with a Conscience!

Check the Facebook page before you go.  Remember, this is a one-woman shop.  You don't want to miss out if she steps out.

Check the Facebook page before you go. Remember, this is a one-woman shop. You don’t want to miss out if she steps out.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Springs Local Farm: Pure Foods Colorado

I took a lot of pictures during my visit to Pure Foods Colorado, a family-run ranch in Peyton, CO.  You’ll have to forgive me if most of them are of a baby cow.  You would be surprised how charming baby cows are!

Could you turn your camera away?  I couldn't.

Could you turn your camera away? I couldn’t.

I was reminded of a visit I made out there in August 2014 while talking with Yosef, of Ahavah Farm.

“We have really great neighbors, Brian and Katelynne,” he mentioned.

“Oh!”, I exclaimed, narrowing my eyes and searching my memory.  “I think I visited them once.”

“Yeah, Katelynne said they know you.  She said, ‘Bonnie was going to write an article about us, but I don’t think she ever did’.”

I’m embarrassed to tell you, dear reader, that it’s true.  This can happen when a person’s attention is constantly being pecked at by rogue chickens.  Honestly, I just can’t believe I forgot to write about the baby cow.  But it’s not too late!  Even if the baby cow is now a full grown adult cow, Pure Foods Colorado is right where it was in August and I can revisit that pleasant day in an article

"Get on with it," says the baby cow.  "Tell the story before naptime!"

“Get on with it,” says the baby cow. “Tell the story before naptime!”

Brian and Katelynne Hall used to live a different kind of life.  Though Brian grew up around farmers in California, he became a commercial pilot as an adult, working first for an airline and later in corporate aviation.  Pilots can make a good living, but, as you can imagine, it’s a job that takes you away from home a lot.

There it is, the big blue sky.  Does it call you to travel?  Or does it make you love your place that much more?

There it is, the big blue sky. Does it call you to travel? Or does it make you love your place that much more?

In the end, that kind of life wasn’t really what they wanted for themselves and their children.  They bought their land in Peyton in 2005 and began living an agricultural life.

In addition to adorable baby cows, they also raise goats and chickens.

In addition to adorable baby cows, they also raise these unusually clean goats and a few chickens.

Today, they raise food for the family in the form of vegetables, eggs, meat and milk.  The food extends into the community.  You can buy their pastured beef, their cow and goat milk and their organic chicken feed for your own family.  They gave me a jar of their delicious raw milk to try.  It was just what you would expect from cows raised peacefully on pasture and milked by hand in a clean, quiet milking parlor… creamy and gone long before the store-bought milk next to it in the refrigerator.

Katelynne mentioned how rewarding it is to raise food for her family and that they’ve done this together.  Brian is home now to work alongside Katelynne and their children.

“The broader community aspect is very attractive,” added Brian.  “We know we’re part of the whole.”

After visiting the barns, we got to see the pastures.

After visiting the barns, we got to see the pastures and the big cows.

I remember enjoying this tour a lot.  Pure Foods Colorado was the first of several farms I’ve seen that are run by families dedicated to making a simpler way of life.  They spend time together, rely on each other and their own hard work and teach their children what it means to be part of a community.  They have clear ideas about kindness to animals and using the land with respect.  They face the life and death struggles which are always on the surface of a farm with strength and equanimity.

I’m glad they’re out there, showing us all that we’re not trapped in an impersonal rat-race world, with their clean food, their pioneering spirit … and their baby cows.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

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Colorado Springs Local Farm: Ahavah Farm

It was Friday afternoon and I was driving.  I drove and drove until I got to Peyton, for the second time in two days.  I turned down the dirt road toward my destination and since no other car could be seen, I inched down the road looking at the house numbers.

I found it and was welcomed by children and chickens.

I found it and was welcomed by children and chickens.

Ahavah Farm is home to Yosef and Hava Camire, along with their four children, some happy dogs, more chickens than I could count (since they were always moving), a flock of ducks and two odd birds whose breed I cannot remember.

I only remember that the male seemed to be from another planet, like a turkey.

I only remember that the male seemed to be from another planet, like a turkey.

Yosef and Hava had invited me for Shabbat dinner, which I could not resist for many reasons.  Besides their warm friendliness, they are also part of a small group of Jewish farm enthusiasts like myself AND I have learned, as part of this enthusiasm for farms, that one should never decline an invitation for dinner at a farm because the food is better close to its source than anywhere else.  Farmers also know what to do with odd vegetables, like kohlrabi and turnip greens.  Hava’s cooking was no exception to this rule.  I convinced her to give me the recipe for her coconut cream mousse, which I’ll include at the end of this article.

Contrary to what you might think, I did more than eat.  I was also treated to a tour.

Contrary to what you might think, I did more than eat. I was also treated to a tour.

Yosef showed me around the farm while Hava finished the preparations for dinner and shooed persistent chickens off the deck.  The family had lived in Denver, but didn’t like city life and bought this property a couple years ago and Yosef has been fixing it up ever since.

“We really did this for our kids,” he explained.  Life in the country gives kids room to run around, gives rein to their imaginations and helps them learn about the natural world.  It also teaches them about hard work and where food comes from.

And they certainly are learning where food comes from!  The family sells their produce at the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Wednesdays at Ivywild School from 3PM – 7PM.  One week the children stopped by to chat with us at the Info Booth and told us a story about their youngest sibling.

“She pulled a carrot right out of the ground and ate it!”

The Camires are very passionate about social responsibility and bees.

The children are involved in most aspects of the farm, but not all.

Have you heard me tell people it’s our civic duty to keep bees in the city?  You may know that bees are having a hard time surviving and we can’t grow food without bees.  Yosef showed me the top bar beehives that he had built.  He sternly told the children to stay where they were and then we went out into the field where he opened up a hive.

“Want to get a picture of the inside?”, he asked.

I demurred.  It seems rude for a stranger to intrude on bees that way, so Yosef took the camera and put it in the hive.

I'm both impressed by his bravery and amazed at how the bees make this beehive shape.

I’m both impressed by his bravery and amazed at how the bees make this beehive shape inside the hive.

After visiting with the bees, we rejoined the children and Hava for dinner.  They are so kind and sociable that I couldn’t drag myself away to get home for Chicken Bedtime until the last possible moment.

Come by and visit this friendly family at the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Wednesdays and get some fresh, “beyond organic” produce.  After a few minutes, you’ll be well nourished with vegetables and kindness.

Read on for Hava’s remarkable vegan dessert recipe …

Vegan Coconut Cream Mousse

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
maple syrup (or any sweetener) to taste

Let the can sit a while after you buy it so the cream separates.  Open the can, skim off the cream and refrigerate it for an hour or two, until it’s firm.  Add the cocoa powder and the sweetener.  Beat with a hand mixer or with a whisk until everything is incorporated and the mousse is just a little bit fluffy.  It won’t beat up like cream or egg whites, but you will see some air bubbles incorporated into it.  Chill until firm and serve with fresh fruit.  Warning: Do not leave the bowl out with a spoon handy.  If you’re like me, you’ll eat the whole thing in one sitting.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Springs Local Farm: Homegrown & Happiness

I was, upon visiting Kellie and Tracy Dodson’s homestead, stunned by the neatness!

Have you ever seen such a thing?

Have you ever seen such a thing?

I, too, have a Homestead in the city and it had always seemed to me that messiness goes with the territory.  Seeing no piles of scrap wood, no straw scattered everywhere and none of the misplaced landscaping rocks that chickens have kicked all over my yard, I would not have believed Kellie’s assertion that she had grown more food than she knew what to do with if I hadn’t seen the snuggly Freedom Ranger birds.

Most of the Freedom Ranger chicks were enjoying a big warm chicken pile.

Most of the chicks were enjoying a big warm chicken pile.  They eyed us, mildly concerned we’d want to join.

Mr. and Mrs. Dodson are the proprietors of Homegrown and Happiness, an urban homesteading school.  They offer classes in their backyard to teach you how to produce vegetables, eggs, meat and honey in your backyard, all without the chicken/landscape rock soccer game that we have witnessed here.

They look ready for a game, but somehow never affect the landscape.

They look ready for a game, but somehow it never gets started.

The classes are everything from keeping chickens to growing in small spaces to soap-making.  Kellie also sells some cottage food products like spelt bread, jam and eggs, which means she knows about making money with homestead products.  Their classes are a great way to get started if you’re looking to use your land to save or make a little money.

They even have a little greenhouse!

They even have a little greenhouse!

What qualifies them to teach us how to make such a productive, neat, rock-free homestead?  Kellie has been gardening most of her life.  They started producing vegetables on a larger scale about four years ago and now grow so much that even with canning and freezing it’s a challenge to use it all up by the end of the year!  They’ve had so much fun that Kellie quit her day job recently to teach people full time.

It’s always a bit challenging to get a new business organized.  “I’m kind of a little eclectic right now … just trying to figure it out.  But the biggest thing is I just want to teach people how to grow.  Because I have such a passion for providing for yourself,” Kellie explained.

The bees quietly go about their business in the side yard.

The bees quietly go about their business in the side yard.

“There is something about telling your kids, ‘Go pick dinner!’.”

You can learn more about Homegrown and Happiness through their website or catch them on a chicken coop tour.  The website includes a blog and a store where you can buy, among other things, a kombucha SCOBY, kefir grains and seasonal produce.

I am going to guest-teach a class on their homestead later this year about storing potatoes for winter.  Sign up for their (or my) newsletter to get the announcements!

But please … don’t bring any landscape rocks.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

Colorado Springs LOCAL Farms: Real Farmers Markets

Who can you trust?

Colorado Springs Local Business Daily Harvest Aquaponics RomaineYou may recall an article I wrote last year about a certain farmers’ market here in town that was selling produce from other states without making it clear to customers what they were buying!  I use an exclamation point because this is something of an outrage!  After all, if a “farmers market” sells the same produce as a grocery store, I’d rather go to the grocery store on my own schedule, rather than cram the visit into the four hours a week this “popup grocer” is open!

What’s worse is that they are capitalizing on the hard work of real farmers markets.  We’ve taught people to expect locally grown produce at a farmers market and these popup grocers don’t really tell customers that they are different.

So we’re back to the question … who can you trust?  I’m going to tell you.

Colorado Springs Local Farm 2015 Farmers Market Ad 4We have two farmers markets in Colorado Springs that only sell produce from farmers in Colorado.

  1. Colorado Farm and Art Market

You can find the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Wednesday at Ivywild School from 3PM – 7PM and at the Margarita at Pine Creek on Saturdays from 9AM to 1PM.  Their members include Venetucci Farm, Frost Farm, the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers co-op, Larga Vista Ranch, Ahavah Farm, Blue Skies Organic Vegetables and others who grow within driving distance of Colorado Springs.  You’ll also find Smith Farms and Hobbs Family Farm in the right season for Colorado garlic and fruit.

The season begins Wednesday June 10 and runs through October 13.

2. Downtown Sunday Market

The Downtown Sunday Market will take place in Acacia Park (where the Uncle Wilbur Fountain is, at Tejon & Bijou) every Sunday from 9AM – 2PM from June 14 through October 11.  Hunt or Gather manages this market.  They get the produce from the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers and other farms around the state that they have confirmed grow to their standards.

By supporting these markets, you’re supporting our Colorado economy, keeping farms viable in our state and voting for real Colorado food with your dollars.  Visit regularly, tell your friends, get to know your farmers.

Let’s support the kind of world where we can truly trust the people who sell us our food.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

2015 Hungry Chicken Homestead Chicken Rankings

You know what happens when new chickens join your flock?

They compete… actually, they fight, but it’s less distressing to say they are competing.  Otherwise I feel like I have rival gangs living in my backyard.

Four chickens from another backyard moved in recently and the 2015 Poultry Pecking Order Competition has begun!  They aren’t quite done yet, but for those of you who like to follow this sort of sport, here are the current rankings:

1.  Middle Chicken
Team: Resident
Breed: Rhode Island Red
Age: 5 years
2014 Ranking: Head Chicken

Notes: Middle Chicken was witnessed in a five minute match with Bobbi for head chicken position.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  They both got tired after a minute and stood chest to chest, alternately resting and pecking each other’s heads.

2.  Blond Chicken
Team: Resident
Breed: Rhode Island Red
Age: 5 years
2014 Ranking: #2

Notes: Blond Chicken was Chicken #4 of the original four Homestead birds.  Her meteoric rise is due in part to persistence and in part to the untimely natural deaths of two former head chickens.

3.  Buttercup
Team: Resident
Breed: Sicilian Buttercup
Age: 3 years
2014 Ranking: #4

Notes: Buttercup once survived a raccoon attack.  She also makes the cutest sound.

4.  Little Red Hen
Team: Resident
Breed: New Hampshire Red
Age: 1 year
2014 Ranking: #3

Notes: Little Red Hen benefits significantly from being red.  Chickens are notoriously racist and this bird is allowed to hang around with Chickens #1 and #2 since they are also red.

5.  Bobbi
Team: Newcomers
Breed: Barred Rock
Age: Unknown
2014 Ranking: Head Chicken

Notes: Bobbi was once kicked out of a coop for being too bossy.  The high-ranking red hens aren’t having it and continue to chase her around the yard.

6. Stray Chicken
Team: Resident
Breed: Easter Egger
Age: 2 years
2014 Ranking: #5

Notes: Stray Chicken is sweet as pie.  We are happy to see her hold her own in the middle of the pack.

7:  Raven
Team: Newcomers
Breed: Sex Link
Age: 2 years
2014 Ranking: #2

Notes: Raven is a big chicken.  We may see her climb in the rankings as she gets more comfortable in the yard.

8. Georgia Lee
Team: Newcomers
Breed: Sex Link
Age: 2 years
2014 Ranking: #3

Notes: Georgia Lee has no interest in this competition, other than to stay close to Raven and make nervous chicken sounds when a red hen comes by.

9: Randi
Team: Newcomers
Breed: Easter Egger
Age: Unknown
2014 Ranking: #4

Notes: Like Stray Chicken, Randi is very sweet.  At this rate, she may pull enough heartstrings to be allowed to sleep in the Chicken B&B in the garage.