Thursday, May 19, 2011

Backyard Hens in Kingston

This has been a long time in coming, and finally Kingston residents have been given the green light this week to own up to six hens in their backyards.

The two councillors who objected to this move doubted that backyard hens would be cost-effective compared with store-bought eggs, or those purchased at local farmers' markets.  They also felt any environmental benefit would be negligible.

I don't know how they did their math.  My calculations show that with some ingenuity and repurposing of materials, it's possible to produce backyard eggs for about $1/dozen.  That's significantly cheaper than even the cheapest caged eggs at the store, never mind free-run organic or omega 3 eggs.

Perhaps Kingston residents are able to buy eggs at their farmers' market.  Some Windsor councillors seem to think Windsorites can buy free range eggs without going to a grocery store.

We'd like to know more about this, since egg sales are most specifically prohibited at the Downtown Windsor Farmers' Market.  And as we've already pointed out, our stores do not sell free range eggs, organic or non-organic.

Furthermore, using the relative insignificance of the environmental impact of any one action to argue against that action is plain silly.  By the same logic, one can argue against walking instead of driving one block, putting out a blue recycling box for pickup or taking shorter showers.  Each of those acts clearly has a negligible environmental impact, but when we collectively live in a more environmentally aware manner, we can achieve big change.

Read more on this story at Our Kingston.