Ann is helping coordinate the second annual bicycle tour of Alameda chicken coops, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 16 at 1pm. It will also be stopping at our house.

The idea came up last year on the Alameda Backyard Chickens Group, and we had about 50 folks attend last year with no publicity. We're expecting a much bigger turnout this year, now that it's being promoted in area newspapers and blogs (it should be in the Chronicle's 96 Hours section this week).

The tour will start at 448 Lincoln Avenue, where a map will be provided. The route is about 4.5 miles long and will end at 1342 Grove Street.

Join us for a fun afternoon and spread the word!

P.S. Ann will also be teaching her introductory class on raising chickens this summer.  If you're thinking about getting chickens or know someone who is, it's a great way to get started.

On April 25th we had 540 people trek through our garden as part of the 7th annual Bay Friendly Gardening Tour. We spent six straight hours answering questions about our chickens, rain barrels, bat house, beehives, and greywater system, probably in that order. After that came questions about many of the 33 fruit and vegetable crops that we've squeezed into our small back and front yards. 

We got many comments about the enormous size of the strawberries in our patch as well as the prolific raspberry and blueberry bushes, and lots of questions about our asparagus and fava beans ("What is that plant? And what is that one over there?").

Many of the people on the tour are novice gardeners, and it was wonderful to hear their excitement as they noted what can be done in just a small space. We were gratified to hear so many people tell us that they were going to go home to put up a bat house, set up rain barrels, convince a spouse to let them get chickens or bees, plant a fruit tree, or build a raised vegetable bed. 

Overall, preparing for the Tour was a huge amount of work, but we are thrilled that the re-landscaping project we began a year and a half ago is finally finished (we think). Now that the weather is beautiful and we've begun to eat meals on our back deck, we can enjoy a yard and garden that is busy producing our summer crops without much effort on our parts.

(The top photo shows our Fuji apple tree in the foreground.  The photo below shows raspberries along the chicken fence, an apricot tree just in front and near the center, fava beans at the bottom and toward the center, and asparagus at the bottom and to the right.)