One of the reasons this review is harsh is because of this flyer that I read.
The part that got to me was:
"The backyard food and chicken raising craze has many societal and public policy implications for Portland. Explore them with the man at the center of the local chicken and homegrown food scene, Robert Litt, owner of Urban Farm Store."
Local chicken and homegrown food scene? What? And my guy is claiming to be at the center of it? Excuse me?
Wow..... Then he charges 75$ to listen about how to have chickens in your backyard??
Not only is he profiting his ego by claiming to be "THE man", he is also profiting his bank account.
My dear friends...... This is how I got my beautiful flock.
I built a coop out of "trash",
Checked out a library book
Bought a heat lamp, waterer, chick starter, feed container...
Bought my beautiful chickens, One rooster and 6 ladies for 1.70 each.
(please don't tell my mom that i have more than the legal limit and my rooster is not permitted. She would worry too much)
Total cost, somewhere under 30 bucks
It is unfortunate that someone comes and takes an organically grown movement and then commodifies it. Urban farming is about growing food. No dues to pay, no rules to follow. No set quota. Don't have to have a csa to be an urban farmer. You grow food. You eat it. You do it in spots previously not thought of in our culture. That's urban farming. Right now I get a solid meal a day from my garden. My garden produces this minimum through the winter too. I am learning through communicating with people. By doing. If you are interested in growing food, talk with people who are doing it. Talk with your (and if they're not close a) grandmother/father. Talk with people who have a bunch of food in there yard. I'm probably the only person who would eye you suspiciously. Other than my Rooster. He'll definitely eye you suspiciously.
My big problem with the commodification of this movement is that food has gotten incredibly spendy. I do not want anyone to be turned off from growing food because they only have access to overpriced goods. The Urban Farm store is taking advantage of peoples ignorance in prices, and selling an image to yuppies. A very clean, upper middle class image.
I went to the urban farm store to look at their wares.....
Very little seed selection.
Overpriced chicks. 5$ for a chick is too much.
Tools made in China, except for the ones made in Germany ($$$)
Chicken coops starting at 275$ !?!?
Go shop in places with decent prices and real roots in their community.
I have only listed places with a Portland address. So much more is just outside the city.
(Phone numbers and addresses follow)
Linnton has chicks and more. Good prices on most stuff, especially seed.
Wichita has chick supplies and everything else. You have to be a little smart about prices on some stuff, but
they are a good solid store.
Foster Feed and Garden, I just found out about this place. Can't report much.
Concentrates..... LOVE them. This is bulk buying. It looks like they will be moving soon. It is a full on feed store in Portland, a real treasure. Good prices, super friendly, they know their stuff. I mentioned to Robert that how I found out about his store was that I saw the "urban farm store" truck there. His response was "I love that place, I'm there all the time!" Coincidentally a 50# bag of organic chicken feed is about 5$ less at Concentrates.
Linnton feed and seed
10920 NW Saint Helens Highway Portland, Or. 97206
Wichita Feed & Hardware
6089 SE Johnson Creek BLVD
Portland OR 97231
Foster Feed and Garden
10307 SE Foster Rd.
Portland, OR 97231
2613 SE 8th Ave
Portland, Or. 97202