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9 Lessons From My Year With Urban Chickens

Chickens can be pretty bird-brained, but keeping laying hens in their backyard has taught these Portland city folk a lot.

Watercolor by Frank Omier, Emily's husband
Watercolor by Frank Omier, Emily's husband
Emily Liedel

PORTLAND — Central to the organic movement is a desire to reconnect with our food and where it comes from. Farmers’ markets allow you to “meet the farmer” and better understand how different products are grown before they end up on your dinner plate.

Last year, after moving to Portland, I decided to go a step beyond shopping at farmers’ markets. I read books about permaculture, started a garden and decided to keep chickens. Of everything that I have done to get closer to my food, raising chickens has been the most rewarding and instructive. I’ve also discovered that there are many misconceptions about raising backyard poultry.

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May 21-22

  • A liberated Ukrainian village
  • Long COVID limbo
  • TikToker under fire
  • … and much more.
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