As the backyard chicken trend takes flight nationwide and more STL communities pass ordinances to allow it here, the gardening gurus at Gateway Greening are introducing a community chicken coop at Bell Demonstration Garden. The coop, co-sponsored by P. Allen Smith and Land O’ Lakes Purina Feed, helps teach proper chicken-keeping practices while housing only heritage chickens. The eggs are donated to food pantries for those in need.
Raising chickens is the newest part of the locavore movement, and you don’t get more local than eggs from the backyard. Studies show that eggs from free-range chickens are more nutritious, too, with more vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, and less cholesterol and saturated fat than their commercial cousins.
Chicken ordinances vary widely from town to town. St. Louis City allows up to four pets, including chickens. As for the 91 other municipalities that make up the area, would-be coopers are advised to contact their local government for information. Bell Community Garden (3871 Bell Ave.) is open Saturday mornings through November from 9am-noon. For more info, visit gatewaygreening. org.