Archive for May, 2009

Sustainability Film Screening May 13th, Oahu

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

This came our way from an educator at Punahou who is doing a lot of good work with teaching active sustainability practices in our schools.

Spring 2009

The Punahou Sustainable Food Committee is hosting a spring “Food for Thought” event at Punahou on Wednesday, May 13th from 6-8:30 at Thurston Chapel, as part of our continuing discussion on Sustainability in our community. This year the Food for Thought series specifically explores the relationships of food and agriculture with sustainability. At the upcoming May event we will be screening Chris Taylor’s 2008 documentary film Food Fight, which according to the filmmaker is “a fascinating look at how American agricultural policy and food culture developed in the 20th century, and how the California food movement has created a counter-revolution against big agribusiness.” The movie explores the repercussions of the agribusiness model and ultimately considers the community’s role in the development of a more sustainable food system.

The evening will begin with a free tasting of dishes featuring local produce by Ed Kenny (‘86) of Town and Downtown as well as Pat Shea (’91) of Sweet Home Waimanalo. After the movie screening, we have invited a panel of speakers representing the various perspectives the movie explores (Dean Okimoto of Nalo Farms, Laurie Carlson of Honolulu Weekly and Slow Food Oahu, Dr. Ted Radovich of UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and Brian Schatz, the State Democratic Party Chair and CEO of Helping Hands Hawaii) to facilitate discussion of the many areas the film considers.

We hope everyone can make our “Food for Thought” movie night as part of our continuing discussion on Sustainability in our community. We are especially interested in having members of our Punahou community join us; please encourage your students and their parents to come. If you are wondering about potential classroom connections or have any questions about the event, please feel free to email me at

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Backyard Chickens in San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Article in San Jose Mercury News:

San Jose family follow new popular trend of raising backyard chickens By Tiffany Carney Willow Glen Resident Posted: 05/04/2009 05:22:01 PM PDT

While most people don’t associate backyard chickens with city living, there’s a growing number of San Jose residents converting portions of their yards into coops to raise hens for fresh eggs.

A recent “chick sale” at Sam’s Downtown Feed and Pet Supply on West San Carlos Street attracted long lines, with people coming from as far as Hollister for a chance to pick out the perfect chicks to bring home.

“We’ve sold chickens for years, but in the past five years, we’ve sold more than we ever have,” said Lisa Blackford, who owns the feed store with her husband, Sam. “[Raising chickens] is just huge right now. This year, especially with the economy, our customers want to buy the chickens for the eggs.”

To read more:

New York Times Article on Wave of Pro-Chicken Ordinance Changes

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Yet another article published in New York Times about keeping backyard chickens in suburb, town, and city. This one about how some cities are changing ordinances by popular demand, increasing legal allowances, in some instances from zero to six.

I love the title.

Envisioning the End of ‘Don’t Cluck, Don’t Tell’

By Peter Applebome
Published: April 29, 2009
New Haven

In the modest backyard of Rosemarie Morgan’s 1890-era house, about a half-mile from Yale University, there is a small Buddha, azalea and forsythia, Japanese cherry and plum trees, and an Amish-made chicken coop with five residents — four who lay eggs and Gloria, who is barren but one heck of a watchdog.

The fowl are technically illegal under New Haven’s zoning code, which prohibited raising hens and other livestock when it was updated during the 1950s. But these days, many dozens of backyard hens are generally tolerated under the city’s informal enforcement program — call it “don’t cluck, don’t tell” — that mostly looks the other way. With urban fowl increasingly common, Alderman Roland Lemar has introduced legislation that would allow residents to raise up to six hens.

To read more: