Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Green Books Campaign: Keeping Chickens - Ashley English

This review is part of the Green Books campaign.Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website. You can also find the 2010 Green Books Campaign on Facebook and on Twitter.
My review choice for the Green Books Challenge was Keeping Chickens with Ashley English.  The publisher is Lark Books, a division of Sterling Publishing. This book was printed and bound in Canada using recycled materials and agri-based inks and is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) chain of custody certified.

Now you may be saying, Luanne why ever would you pick a book about keeping chickens? Well in a former job at a living history museum, we kept heritage and threatened species of chickens, they were part of a working farm and we used the eggs to cook with. Honestly, I kind of grew attached to them, they were a lot smarter than the turkeys!

Eating local and the interest in growing your own food has just skyrocketed. "What could be more local than foods gathered from your own backyard, stoop, balcony or deck?" There was a great debate and bylaw vote in the large city closest to me about keeping chickens within city limits. Lots of ruffled feathers with the final verdict being no.

But as a rural dweller, it's definitely something that interests me and this book is an excellent resource.
It encompasses all aspects, from initial considerations - cost, laws, neighbours and lifestyle to picking the breed best for your climate and what you want - layers or for your table. Lots of colour photos are included in this chapter. Where do you get your birds - and there's a great appendix at the end lots of links and resources. Where will you keep your chickens - plans for lots of different housing solutions and actual plans are included. What to feed - covered. How to raise healthy birds from chick to full grown, health concerns and loads about everyday care. And of course eggs! The last chapter was a lovely surprise - lots of recipes - I'm going to give the sweet potato soufflé a try.

I really enjoyed the portraits of chicken owners scattered throughout the book, covering those who keep just a few to those supplying local restaurants.

Keeping Chickens is well laid out and easy to read and reference. Ashley English has put together a comphrehensive resource for anyone thinking of keeping a flock of their own. Keeping Chickens is part of a series called Homemade Living Series that covers a lot of 'back  to the basics'. Canning and Preserving is out, with Keeping Bees and Home Dairy due out in the Spring.


avisannschild said...

Hmm, my mum is thinking about keeping bees, so their Keeping Bees book might be of interest to her. I'll have to check it out.

One of my neighbours here in Montreal has had chickens in his backyard, although I'm not sure how legal that is!

Mystica said...

I've seen the Green Books campaign logo all over today! Interesting reading definitely.

Serena said...

I've heard a lot about people in NYC and other large urban areas that are keeping chickens in their back yards, etc. Eating locally from their own backyard.

bermudaonion said...

My grandmother kept chickens and my mother had to help take care of them. She tells stories about one rooster who scared her to death!