Chicks & Bees @NWFGS 2011

As I mentioned, we’re adding chickens to our backyard farm this year, and you probably know that we keep honey bees, too. These two topics occupy much of my brainpower during my waking hours, so I was on high alert for chicken & bee-related items at the 2011 Northwest Flower & Garden Show.

I had the good fortunate to catch a seminar called “What the Cluck?” with Jessi Bloom. It was about adding chickens to your garden. There was a lot of great information about life cycles, breed selection, roosters, coop requirements, permaculture design, other pets, different methods of keeping chickens and even chicken training. The resource section on the handout is excellent too. You can get a copy of the handout here if you are curious. Ms. Bloom brought some friends to help with her presentation — about 10 different varieties of baby chicks. I almost died from their peeping cuteness. ((I can’t wait for our chicks to arrive.)) These chicks were from Portage Bay Grange, in Seattle. They had a booth in the marketplace, and I really want to make it to their storefront in Seattle.

Seattle Urban Farm Co. & the Re-Store partnered up to build this adorable little city farm complete with chicken tractor, a little cold frame and a beehive. You know, typical backyard stuff. They must have some relationship with the Ballard Bee Company, too, because I spotted a jar of their honey.

The chickens at the Seattle Urban Farm Co. booth were completely nonplussed by the thousands of visitors that passed by their space. Not even hoards of devoted children could distract these hens from their scratching.

While this is unrelated to either chickens or bees, I love the creativity that Re-Store brings to their garden show displays. Last year they had a recycled cold frame that I fell in love with. This year? They re-purposed bathroom fixtures for the garden.

In addition to the Ballard Bee Company, I saw some business cards from Crown Bees around the vendor area. I just discovered the Crown Bee website. It’s really informative if you’re keeping solitary bees (which we do — an update on our mason bees is in the pipeline).

And finally, over in the display garden from Christianson’s Nursery, there was an old-fashioned skep in the garden shed. It’s a little piece of history; people kept honey bees in skeps before we developed beehives with movable parts. I get nostalgic for history like this, but I would have hated keeping bees in skeps. Beekeepers had to destroy the skep to get the honey, and that sounds like a giant pain. I like going back to the “old ways” in many regards, but I will keep my movable frame beehive thankyouverymuch.

My other 2011 Northwest Flower & Garden Show posts: Container Gardening and Themed Display Gardens

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9 Comments

Filed under bees, chickens, garden, urban farming

9 responses to “Chicks & Bees @NWFGS 2011

  1. We added chickens to our garden last year and it’s been love ever since. So much so, that we just added to new baby chicks. We’re turning into a regular urban homestead ;-)

    • Aw, that’s the kind of happy ending I love to hear about. I’m sure we are going to love our chooks too. How many chickens do you have on your urban homestead? Did you get any roosters or lose any to raccoons?

  2. The portage bay grange is great! So is Jessi! I didn’t make it to the Garden Show this year but your pics are great! Looks like the urban farming bits were great!

    • It might seem like the show was urban farming heavy this year due to my pictures – which is not completely true. This was about it. Next year looks dismal for those of us who like to eat our yard. Did you hear about the theme yet? It’s something like “A Floral Symphony: Gardens Take Note!” I can’t make this up.

  3. YAY – Chickens and Bees! two of my favorite topics! Thrilled to have found this post, and having *met* you – maybe someday we can meet in real life! Thanks for covering the birds and the bees from the show. How did I miss that skep?

    *waves* Hi Meg!!

  4. Hillary

    Do you still have worms? Haven’t heard about them in a while.

    • I still have the worm bins, but I neglected them for the whole winter so they probably took off or died. I was just thinking the other day that I should “refresh” that system when the farmers’ market opens & I can get another little bucket of worms.

  5. Pingback: Edible Gardening @NWFGS 20111 | krista and jess

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