6.21.2011

Review: The Art of the Chicken Coop

Product details:

Art of the Chicken Coop: A Fun and Essential Guide to Housing Your Peeps by Chris Gleason

Paperback $19.95
Fox Chapel Publishing
Released June 1st, 2011

Keeping chickens—even for city dwellers is a trend that just keeps on growing. With this book, today’s modern farmer will find plans and construction techniques for making seven different chicken coops, fun chicken facts, and recipes for eggs. Experienced farmer, woodworker, and author Chris Gleason's hip eye for design, combined with sound woodworking techniques make the coops both attractive and sturdy. Practical information such as how to properly size a coop and how to source reclaimed materials is included. Don’t miss the authors “tour de coop” where he visits coops from other backyard farmers to find out why they keep chickens and what lessons they have to share with others interested in doing so.

Notes: Review copy via NetGalley



My thoughts:

Informative, Inspired and Just Plain Cute (5 stars)

Ever since we bought our first house I've been wanting to convert a portion of our backyard into a food source of sorts. A small garden and perhaps a chicken run would be ideal. The gardening idea hasn't made it farther than a few herbs and tomato plants but we're in the process of redoing our backyard's landscape. In the meantime I've been reading a book here and there about keeping chickens and realized there's no way I can pull it off. LOL

That said, I loved this book! Not only is it inventive and inspired, but Gleason's approach is very Earth-friendly. One of the things I expected to see was all new supplies and instead the reader is encouraged to reuse old doors or scraps of wood when possible. As someone who values reusing and repurposing when possible I was really happy to see several of the coops had been made using repurposed materials. The designs themselves are each charming and adaptable. Designed for different sized flocks and with different features for both the keeper and the hens' convenience I would honestly love to build any of these if I was sure I could make it worth my efforts. Additionally this book is peppered with cool information about chicken breeds, history and recipes featuring eggs.

As a whole I would recommend this book to an experienced chicken keeper looking for some nice design plans for a new coop. I also think it's a great inspiration for a new keeper, or—as in my case—someone considering keeping chickens. Maybe this would even make a neat gift for someone who just adores chicken paraphenalia.

6.12.2011

Getting back on my feet...

For months now—more like almost 2 years—I've wanted to kick this blog back into motion. Every time I think about it though I get cold feet. Mostly I think it centers around branding. While I have no intention of making this blog anything worthy of actually making an effort at branding, I don't like half-assing things like this. Since I was learning to read and write 25 years ago I've known writing was going to always be an important part of my life. Not just making lists or pen-pal letters but as a way to communicate ideas, imaginings and hopefully ways that make the world less lonely.

Though my book blog is very much focused on my true passion it doesn't really allow me to get off-topic much. Sometimes I really want to talk about my pets or a craft I want to try, a recipe I made up or even something as stupid as sharing my enthusiasm for a new word our toddler is saying. Lately I've also been diving into non-fiction books and children's reading that isn't fitting to my regular book blogging. Afterall, I don't think many of my paranormal romance readers would care about great books for Potty Training. Maybe that's essentially what I'm missing right now... a certain amount of freedom to get random in my topics. To share with others—or at least just be publishing articles about—my passion for my family and our life together.

With school out for the summer I'm busier in some ways and less busy in others. I can't say whether I will have time to write for this blog everyday any more than I could say the same for RhiReading but it feels good just to be opening myself back up to it. To take some of these ideas and thoughts that have been closeted up in the back of my mind for months and do something with them. I don't even care if I end up with an audience here commenting on my reading. It'd just be great to explore another part of myself and keep writing!
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