Ask any of your eco-friendly pals and they'll tell you that sustainability is the green gift that keeps on giving. From edible gardens to ethically raised eggs, more and more Phoenix urbanites are looking to their own backyards to fuel their families.
See Also: - A Hipster's Guide to Farm Animals - An Urban Orchard in Phoenix: Grow Everything from Blood Oranges to Bonanza Dwarf Peaches to Mexican Limes - Four Best Farmers Markets in Greater Phoenix: Best of Phoenix 2012
Which is why the Valley Permaculture Alliance organizes Tour de Coops, a Valley-wide residential tour of urban livestock- specifically chickens and their decked out chicken wire cribs. The tour, which extends throughout Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix is intended to inspire, educate and promote growth within the community of modern farming.
This year's Fourth Annual Tour de Coops, happening from 8 am to 4 pm on Saturday, November 10, will feature 29 homes, 13 of them bikable. Participants in the tour will choose from one of three locations to check-in:
Tickets are $15 in advance ($20 at the door). For more details or to purchase tickets, you can visit VPA online. And for a better idea of what to expect, check out three of our top design picks at this year's Tour De Coops.
David and Laura Deynes
The backyard of this South Phoenix home has much more than meets the eye: ducks, chickens, roosters, turkeys, goats, dogs, cats and probably a few other creatures who have made themselves at home in the spacious sustainable space. Still a work in progress, the Deynes plan on turning the yard into a non-profit demonstration garden.
You may know Derrick Pacheco from his business Hood Ride Bike Shop, which once occupied space at 5th Street and Roosevelt. Pacheco incorporates discarded bicycle scraps to make up his expanding chicken coop. Ensuring that almost nothing goes to waste, Derrick and his girlfriend, Cindi, use the condensation run off from their A/C to hydrate the chickens, who in return supply the essential - er... nutrients, to the gardening compost.
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Bill Bogle and Mark Morre
Bill and Mark have put together quite a little backyard oasis in their North Phoenix home - lush grass, an edible garden, a shaded swimming pool area and plenty of bamboo, which mainly gets eaten by the chickens. A few interesting notes about Bill and Mark's chickens? They keep their birds cool with a misting system installed in the coop. They also have a custom logo they stamp on their more than farm fresh eggs. And when said eggs are used, they bake the discarded shells in a solar powered oven, feeding them back to the chickens for added calcium in their diets.