Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Reduce.Reuse.Recycle - Creative Reuse in the City

Some folks have recently appeared to be amazed  and stunned when I have announced that my chickens are housed in a vacant neighbors garage now titled "the barn". I have even done the deep bedding method in there. Its not the most secure or airtight but neither was their coop. Now the coop is inside the barn as well as a baby brooding area where 6 chicks (7 weeks old) and 3 muscovy ducks live.

I'm having a hard time convincing these muscovies to leave and go outside with everyone else. My ducks generally always stay outside. They don't really need shelter. They do have a dog house they can use and lots of shady underside of trees to sleep under. I also give them plenty of dry straw before winter so they can snuggle up on something dry.

But my 4 big girl hens who lay come out of the barn every morning and over to the back yard for daytime and back in the evening. They like it, its their routine. And God forbid I mess with the routine. They will refuse to lay for days or weeks depending on how bad I have screwed things up!

Well anyway the point of all of this - is my creative reuse of an abandoned garage. I share a driveway with the garage and had already been using the lawn for years. In fact I plan to Lot Links the property eventually (it's just now 2 years delinquent but the porch imploded and its unlikely to be up for much of anything but a tear down). Here's a hint into how my brain works: I see unused things as decaying and heading towards death. By using something I am giving it new life and new purpose. I really really dislike all of the vacant houses around us. Vacant lots covered in grass are near criminal, hence, my urban farm. And I believe in making life what you want it to be. I want my life to be growing, full, a bit overcrowded and weedy, but full to the brim. So I've constructed a life that is just that.

Please share your story of creative reuse - for example, a friend turned her shed into a chicken coop. What have you done to add vibrancy around you or to defy decay or push the boundaries of normal to create a wonderful life?