We've just finished hosting the third annual Alameda Backyard Chicken Coop Bicycling Tour that Ann coordinates. It was a blast, yet again. This year we had 280 people sign in, and of those, probably 95% biked or walked to our house. This year there were 15 coops on the tour, double the number of coops shown the last two years. With this new arrangement, people could visit just the ones in their proximate neighborhood or bike to the other side of the island to see ones further away.

It is so thrilling to hear how much our Alameda Backyard Chicken group is inspiring people to raise more of their own food. I talked for almost three hours continuously, answering questions about our bees while Paul fielded most of the chicken questions and we each answered some gardening questions. Many people left our yard and the yards of other hosts inspired to build a coop, catch a bee swarm, or plant some seeds. 

Madeleine and Rachel had fun selling chocolate chip cookies that they baked. Our eldest once again wowed people with her knowledge of all things chicken/bee/gardening related. At one point, a tourist was exclaiming about our "corn" plants, only to be informed by Madeleine that they were looking at onions, not corn. She was also overheard explaining to someone what a queen bee cell looks like. (I had found some in one of the hives recently and she was proud to take it to her kindergarten show-and-tell last week.)

Before the tour we had posted a list of an annual harvest from our small (700 square foot) but prolific backyard and added up the value of what we raised. From the asparagus to the raspberries, the tangerines to the eggplant, the eggs, to the honey, it totaled $2,782.50. Even we were amazed.

On a humorous note, today Rachel was shocked to discover that they sell asparagus at Safeway. For some reason, she found it to be very funny. "Really? They sell asparagus in a store?" she asked incredulously. For all she knew, our garden was the asparagus supplier for the world.