Browsing "Agriculture"
Aug 31, 2015 - Agriculture    No Comments

Learning Valuable Skills Beehind Bars

So by now we all know about those neat programs where prison inmates train dogs, but I bet you didn’t know there are now 12 prisons in Washington state, part of the “Sustainability in Prisons Project,” where prisoners are trained in the art of beekeeping! Some are even considering turning these skills into a career when they are released:

Boysen plans to start his own hives and sell organic honey for a living. He’s excited about helping struggling bee populations recover their future. They’ve helped him recover a future too.

“You feel like you’re doing something not only for your own benefit, but for the rest of the world,” he said.

Now it may be tempting to laugh this off as an example of “good intentions gone kooky,” but it is a lot more than that: bees are incredibly important to agriculture. And hey, if somebody learns skills that help sustain bee populations, while at the same time gaining useful life and vocational skills, that sounds like a good deal to us!


Jens Beekeeper 2nd Visit

Jens Beekeeper 2nd Visit

Where do urban chickens go when they’re done laying eggs?

When an urban chicken’s egg-laying days are over, she might become dinner, she might live out her life as a pest-eating pet, or she might even be moved into a  “retirement home” for aging urban chickens.

A far-fetched idea in decades past, the poultry-retirement home’s existence serves as a reminder of the growing popularity of urban farming,* the need for animal owners to plan ahead for the lifetime of their animals, and a portrait of the “livestock-as-pet” phenomena that probably occurs more often than many farmers admit.

Do you keep chickens? And if so, what are your opinions on a “retirement home” service like this?

Stella the friendly urban chicken, one of NAIA’s regular subscribers.

* Portland, Oregon has more than 26 times the number of urban chicken permits today as it did twelve years ago.