Monday, 22 November 2010

Not in my Barnyard

Windsor city council, in lame duck status at this point, will be in a crowded council chambers this evening with future backyard farmers who want to influence a recent decision not to allow farm animals, specifically chickens, in city limits. 
I'm doing my part to be as granola-crunching, tree-hugging, bohemian and little-house-on-the-prairie as one can be with a nice home, a decent income and a nice car.  I've got a rain barrel, and I also share a rain barrel with my neighbour.  I have a composter, and he sends me his scraps (which could just as well feed my future herd of pigs as go the composter, I suppose).  I use one of those whirly-gig lawnmowers like the one that I begged my dad to replace with an electric model back in the mid-seventies.  It is ironic that I had to beg my wife to let me buy one 30 years later, but she did and gave it to me for Fathers' Day a couple of years ago.
Yes, I'd love organically fresh chicken eggs daily.  Here's the reality of chicken farms in Windsor.  Our city can't even get tough with the existing property standard by-laws, from clearing snow to parking cars on front lawns.  Our city doesn't have any by-laws that require garbage to be put in containers, so I walk past garbage bags torn open every week on my way to work.  You can leave a burned out shell of a building standing for years, next to homes of nice people who can no longer enjoy their backyard because of the increased "wildlife" that has made a home in the junkyard next door...and no one in local government seems to mind or notice.
Until we can enforce existing by-laws I'm not willing to risk my neighbours raising chickens improperly, inviting pests, emitting odour, and diminishing my enjoyment of my backyard.  I refer of course not to our really cool rain barrel sharing neighbours on one side of our place, but to the uncool others.

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