Now Growing

Show Off Your Chicken Coop on the 2014 Tour de Coops

Known as the Valley's "most unique home tour," Tour de Coops is entering its sixth year and will be held on November 8. Presented by the Valley Permaculture Alliance, this self-guided tour and sustainability festival is fun to attend and even more fun to participate in. (Full disclosure: Kate Crowley has been a participant in the past.) Read on to find out how to get your coop on the tour.

See also: Tour de Coops: Preparing for the November 16 Chicken Celebration

If you've never been on the tour, it's generally a big celebration of all things chicken, including gardens, cool city abodes, and welcoming outdoor spaces. If you have chickens and need inspiration or are considering chickens, you'll definitely want to attend the tour.

If you're ready to stay at home to show off your ladies and their coop, visit this VPA website to sign up and commit to the tour. Someone from VPA will come to check out your coop before you're official, so here are some things to keep in mind before signing up:

• You'll need help. It's a big task preparing your yard for hundreds of visitors over the course of the day. You'll need some friends or volunteers to help greet people, ensure they go through bio security measures and help answer questions

• Be excited to meet other coop owners. The VPA holds a mandatory session for every household participating on the tour, where you'll meet with others who have likely been a stop on the tour before.

• Check your backyard for areas that should be "off limits," kids love coming on the tour and if you have areas that could be dangerous, be sure to be ready to block them off.

• Spruce up! if you have a vegetable garden, rainwater collection system, other livestock or fruit trees, clean them up a bit and be ready to chat with people about how these things work with raising chickens.

• Post a little sign about your coop. By noon your voice may be very tired from chatting with so many people. Before the tour, come up with a little flyer and post it on or near your coop to give the run down and answers to common questions.

Last year, 22 different coops were on the tour, so take the leap and sign up to show off yours. VPA is always looking for new and creative coops to share with the public.

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Kate Crowley
Contact: Kate Crowley