Friday, March 23, 2012

Classes on poultry and canning

I've been invited to teach two classes, one on urban poultry and another on canning.  I'd love your input on the curriculum.

Each session is to be an hour.  Classes will have 20-30 people who are new to urban gardening.  Ages range from 20-somethings to octogenarians.  My goal is to point people to resources and to encourage them that these are things real people can do.

At the end of each class I want the participants to:
  • be able to evaluate if owning chickens/canning is an activity that they can manage
  • have access to reliable resources online for learning more independently after the class
  • know what to do with their eggs/canned goods

URBAN CHICKENS: The Gateway Poultry
  • City rules & regulations
  • All about coops: basic elements of a coop, where to put it in your yard
  • Healthy hens: predators, parasites, lifespan, dealing with problems
  • Where to get chickens and resources for how to raise chicks
  • Eggs: how many to expect, what to do with them, selling
  • Potential visit from my hens, Animal and Curry
PUTTING UP: Intro to Canning
  • Canning versus freezing
  • Canning types: boiling water bath versus pressure canning
  • Safe canning guidelines and where to find them
  • Where to get produce for canning (if not growing your own)
  • What to do with your canned goods
What do you think?  Having just an hour limits me from being able to actually do any sort of hands-on activity.

What do you wish you'd known about having urban chickens or canning before you started?


  1. For the chickens in particular, I think it would be helpful for people to have a *realistic* estimate of how many hours per week (on average) they could expect to spend on the girls and a specific mention on planning ahead to get a "sitter" for any time away (no spontaneous long weekend getaways). This would maybe help some folks avoid getting chicks and then finding it's too much of a time commitment.

  2. I would think it will be helpful for people to know the spacing and how to communicate with neighbors about having chickens in the backyard. Managing free roaming time and to keep a garden.