Thursday, April 30, 2009

More (previously) rural activity in urban locales

Read Peter Applebome's story, "Envisioning the end of 'Don't Cluck, Don't Tell,'" in today's New York Times. The dateline is New Haven, Connecticut, and it tells of a city ordinance that dates to the 1950s that prohibits the keeping of livestock--including chickens--within city limits. Now an alderman has introduced a law that would permit residents to keep up to six hens.

I enjoyed the description of one current scofflaw, Rosemarie Morgan, a Yale professor whom Applebome labels representative of a slice of contemporary agriculture: "the vogue for urban farming that has cities around the country updating and tweaking zoning codes." He notes that not many residents of New Haven were keeping chickens until recently, and he offers this explanation:
But some combination of the locavore craze, the growth of immigrant communities with traditions of raising hens and the recession making the idea of free eggs or milk in the backyard attractive, cities and suburbs around the country are reviewing all manner of critter ordinances.
The entire story is worth a read. See related posts here, here and here.

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