Monday, January 30, 2012

Interview 1: Nick Pickrell

While our secondary research was adequately informative and factually thorough, it would prove to be only scratching the surface. The experience with the chickens in person is completely necessary because they are fluffy, docile, soft, and adorable. Like pets, chickens are easy to form instant bonds with, especially when holding them. This past Saturday proved to be the watershed of our research. 

Annual Farmers & Friends Meeting (1/28/12, 9am-12pm)

We got lucky and were able to attend the annual, once a year, farmers meeting where there was even a surprise urban chicken group discussion, which lead us to Teresa and Sheri, the two women responsible for fighting against chicken ordinances in Roeland Park, KS (CHIRP). It was quite overwhelming, exciting, inspiring...

...and delicious! I don't think we've ever struggled so unwillingly and reluctantly on choosing a piece of pie, each one homemade with ingredients tenderly grown on a loving farm. 

Cherith Brook with Nick Pickrell

Backyard farm + chicken area

Chickens are picky about where they lay their eggs. This crate is a popular spot for it.

Nick giving us a tour of the coop!

 Interview Highlights
  1. Why did you decide to raise chickens?
    Peacemaking through gardening efforts. Decentralizing the food industry and advocating local food.
  2. How long have you had the chickens?
    About two years.
  3. When referring to Urban chicken farming, do you have a nickname/teamname for it?
    No, I can't think of anything besides urban chicken farmer, but I'll get back to you on that.
  4. How do you feel about the strict chicken ordinances?
    Well, I'm glad that we have 4 properties! (KCMO requires at least 1 acre of land for 15 chickens). I think it's funny because dogs make more noises, while chickens are much quieter and actually give something more. I think it's[ordinance] preventing people from empowering themselves with the whole local food movement.
  5. How do your neighbors feel about the chicken?
    They are all on board. We have a great relationship with the neighbors and the only complaint we had was about our compost pile, not the chickens.
  6. Would you say there is a difference between your eggs and ones sold in the grocery store?
    I don't think so. It tastes better to me because I raised the chickens. I used to hate lima beans but ever since I started growing them, I eat them all the time.
  7. Do you name your chickens?
    We did, the kids did, they named them names like "Vader" but I don't remember or keep track of most of the names anymore.
  8. Do you have any interesting or funny chicken stories to share?
    We recently had to kill one of our roosters because it turned on us for some reason. It was just sneak attacking everyone including the kids. It actually sneak attacked me with it's "spur" on the back of it's feet and it left punctures in my ankle. So we had to make him into chicken soup.
  9. Just curious, if you were a chicken, where would you live?
    I would live in the woods! I could just run around eating all sorts of things.
  10. What inspired you to work here at Cherith Brook?
    I am from Blue Springs, MO and grew up in the suburbs. It was this conversion into faith that lead to me to a trip to rural India where people were one with the land. I realized I wanted to do that versus defaulting into the corporate world.
  11. What other hobbies do you have outside your work here?
    Music. I play bass guitar, dabble in drums, play guitar and sing. 

Here's the audio version of our interview with Nick:

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