Joel Salatin's books are a major influence on my thinking about food supply and sustainability. Small farms that feed the locals are the answer to food production. Salatin has a lot to say about the burden and obstructions placed on small farmers by govt. Suggest that citizens arm themselves with the facts and exercise common sense when politicians introduce policies for the good of mankind. Get informed by reading Salatin's "Folks, This Aint Normal."
There are programs in Chicago & Detroit where they will put 5 feet of composted soil on an empty lot and make citizen gardens in the worst areas in the big cities, where people can't buy veggies in their small corner stores. Cheap and efficient. Why can't anyone do this???
Sustainability by individual effort? The poorest people in the world grow their food on small patches. It's called "subsistence farming" and not "sustainability" for a reason. The reason this country can feed so many people is because of its advanced farming methods. Go spend a year in Africa or India or Asia and see the erosion subsistence agriculture causes. Face the starving that occurs when things go awry and there is no larger food supply as back up. Watch as the floods carry all those farmers and their topsoil downstream when they don't know how to handle their soil.
Underlying "sustainability" is the idea that somehow, if Armageddon comes to this nation, one can hunker down and hide on one's patch. Again, I refer you to the poorest areas of the world. If Armageddon happens here, there will be no city water to your piece of high desert and and you will be on the road like those refugees you see in pictures.
Do I think American agribusiness has its problems? You bet. Is it OK to garden in your yard? Of course. But the idea that we are going to have a better life by going backwards is nonsense. People are routinely living to be 90 or 100 years old on what the current system produces. Something must be working.
Perjoratives? If you don't see the word play on "nanny" and nanny goat, so be it. I am a backyard gardener and a financial supporter of PPUG and the public market project. Urban homesteading is a major interest of mine and I'd like to see more of it. I'd also like to see govt mind it's own business. You need to adjust your sensitivity radar as well as pay attention to the comment rather than take offense with the person making the comment.
A contract takes the agreement of both parties to change.
Thank God for HOA covenants.
Curious--it's easy to throw out pejoratives and purposeful inaccuracies while remaining anonymous. Everyone knows that. If you have the courage to contact me directly, I would be more than happy to discuss with you how other cities are encouraging food sustainability through policy and not incentives or, as some like to say, picking winners and losers. It's all about community-- and trying to work strategically and collaboratively to ensure our city is prepared for any disaster or food storage, while also ensuring our low-income citizens have access to healthy food--which we know reduces healthcare costs. I encourage you to learn more. I hope to hear from you, and I'm so glad you support private property rights that include goat ownership!
Thanks Jill for your hard work and positive efforts for providing folks with more sustainable options for their lives and property. Good policy provides positive vision and a framework for minimizing the known negatives. It is always a good place to start toward better City living and building a stronger communtity.
I think it's unfortunate that TCA changed the CONTRACT with only three months left in the academic year. TCA should honor their part of the deal, something that shouldn't be so hard for this character driven school, and just let Charlie graduate with no more flap about his hair.
"Food security" is a valid concern - for individuals. "Food security" is not and should not be a concern of govt. Yet council member Gaebler wants city govt to micro-manage the local food supply via a "food policy commission". Are there no limits to nanny Gaebler's attempts to do what is best for the rest of us? All that is required of the council is to pass or not pass an ordinance allowing backyard goats - and then butt out.
Barbara, according to what I have read, while the Bear Creek area is outside of the greenback cutthroat's native range, the studies indicate efforts to protect the greenback have increased the number of other cutthroats, including hybrids, in most of the other suitable watersheds. So the first thing that would have to happen is to go in and wipe out the other cutthroats and verify (could take a couple years) that they got them all and that they have not migrated back in. Only then could the pure greenback cutthroats be re-established in that area.
I gather this endangered fish isn't indigenous to that stream...is that correct? So, why can't we take some to a pristine watershed far away from urban impact and let them breed up again...
I think it's too important to risk not graduating, so Charlie should investigate different non-permanent ways to shorten his hair to meet the mandate restrictions. He could pin it up into an attractive, neatly-styled bun, or perhaps buy a short wig to wear.
Sounds like a pie in the sky ideal to me. People could grow gardens today to help with food security - but they instead choose to grow grass/weeds, so what's going to change their mindset?
And I think those people who complained about the drone of AFA pilot training will not enjoy being awakened before dawn by the cacophony of cackling/bleating that accompanies farm life. It might sound idyllic, but it is as annoying as listening to someone cut their lawn at 7:30 AM.
If humanely slaughtering animals on a neighborhood property is legal, we'd better revisit that whole ordinance and not to get goats covered. This is the 21st century, not the 19th. There are health reasons that these kinds of activities were moved from crowded urban areas in the last century.
Clara, everything you are concerned about could be said of any pet. People get dogs and don't have funds to pay for vet bills, I don't think we should assume urban home-steaders are going to be a less responsible group than anyone else. Coyotes or other predators will always come into the city because there is food here. The left over rotisserie chicken in your trash can isn't much different than the chicken clucking in my backyard to a raccoon. The yorkie in a west side backyard is a much easier snack to haul over a fence than a 50 lb goat. Outside cats are a great source of protein for foxes in my neighborhood and they poop & spray by my windows yet I don't think they should be illegal. These aren't new laws we are trying to get passed, these are current existing property rights within Colorado Springs. 10 poultry (no roosters) per city lot have already been legal within city limits for many years, beehives are legal, front yard food gardening is legal, meat rabbits are legal, humanely slaughtering animals on your property is legal. Compost piles or compost bins are everywhere in the city and I can legally throw in the chicken poop today so adding a little more nitrogen from my goat isn't going to change a whole lot. We aren't trying to reinvent the wheel or completely overhaul the city zoning ordinances but just a few minor additions. Legalizing a couple of mini goats isn't going to be a Pandora's box but the ability to independently provide all of my families dairy needs is most definitely a significant return. What we do want is simple; we want people to reconnect with their food sources. Shop locally from CO farmers, plant a garden, raise some of your own meat, teach your kids some stewardship and encourage your neighbors to do the same. Neighborhoods are better when you share eggs, veggies or the preserves you canned with the people next door.
Monycka, I'm sure you're as responsible as they come and your neighbors don't even notice your incursions into urban life. It's the other 99 per cent of the livestock crowd that doesn't follow through when livestock work or gardening gets incredibly hard, as it quickly does, that I worry about.
Are your "back to nature" friends willing or able to pay the vet bills for their animals? Are they going to take them to someone who knows how to slaughter when they are very old or try to do it themselves? What happens when they get bored with their chickens or goats or whatever and don't want them any more?
Is that poop that "doesn't smell" going to get parked near the neighbor's house or do they have plans to haul it away or compost it under their own windows? What will they do when the local coyotes or cougars find out mini-Nanny has moved in on the block? As for mini-goats as pets, will that fad go the way of the pot-bellied pig? That saga did not end happily.
Gardens are fine. Animal control is a bad enough problem with dogs and cats in this town, however. I think you open a Pandora's box for very little return.
People do not realize the very real and perilous position we are in concerning our food sources. We already have many across our city facing food insecurity. What happens when costs rise due to CA's drought or lack of pollinators or gas goes up to $6 a gallon? Growing a bit of one's one food will lessen the strain on local nonprofits as well as other agencies in our city. With great groups all around engaging in this such as PP Urban Gardens, Green Cities Local Food Working Group, Pikes Peak Permaculture, CS Urban Homesteading Group, and the Public Market Project, as well as many others, putting together a food policy commission is a very good first step in creating a solid foundation of food security for our area. I appreciate Ms. Gaebler's efforts as well as those throughout our community who are helping people who may have lost jobs or seen their jobs cut to part-time find new ways to feed their family and to bring in some additional income. [Disclaimer: I used to be on the CSPM board and I'm a suburban homesteader.]
Clara, I understand your concerns but we aren't asking for full scale farming in city limits. We are talking about mini goats, like Penelope pictured in the article. She is a 2 yr old full grown Nigerian weighing in at 50 lbs-the size of a lab. My goats have never escaped my yard but it could happen, the same possibility goes for my 100 lb dog potentially getting out. I can also assure you the smell from the waste from my goats is vastly easier to deal with than that of my dogs. Goat poo is similar to deer poo & only has an odor if the goat is ill. We have effective animal control laws already in existence that would apply to containment, waste removal & noise for goats just as they do for any other pets. Not everyone who owns goats does so for the dairy, some like them strictly as family pets and others use them for fire mitigation. It is true that some goats are more vocal than others just like some breeds of dogs bark more than others. A goat is a prey animal so their instinct is to become still & quiet when startled & they don’t bleat at the mailman or squirrels in the yard. The ordinance that we are trying to pass has a 100 lb weight limit for animals at maturity and requires the goats to be de-horned & would completely exclude bucks (male goats) in city limits. The smell most people associate with goats comes exclusively from intact billy goats. Several cities such as Denver, Ft Collins, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, all have had pro-goat ordinances in place for years. Those same cities also have some of the highest property values in the country so we have to assume if these animals were making a negative impact on the community there would be a push to change those laws. There isn't though, actually there has not been any instance of a pro-mini goat ordinance being overturned. Any animal that is not properly care for can be a nuisance in the neighborhood but that is not more so for goats than it is for dogs or cats. I strongly believe education is the key & goats should not be an impulse addition to your family. They are a LOT of work but are also a LOT of fun and I wouldn't trade our girls for anything. There are local classes people can take to make an informed decision as to if goats will fit into your current lifestlye.
I love goats, grew up milking them, raising chickens and with a father who ran a packing plant down the road. We woke up to the sounds of goats crying to be milked -- it will get you out of bed at the crack of dawn. That was on a good-sized piece of land.
Agriculture is lovely and romantic. It is also dirty, smelly and the sounds of dispatching even chickens can be bloodcurdling. Poop smells, it doesn't matter who makes it. Imagine living next door to that no more than six feet from your bedroom window, which is the distance to the neighbor's property line in most 7,000-sq. ft. lots.
If Ms. Gaebler wants to lobby developers to build a new section of town where the lots and covenants allow for this kind of activity, more power to her. They can have their very own HOA governing their activities. If Colorado Springs wants to be the Third World city of the American West with animals wandering everywhere, go for it. The most fun is when the cute little fellahs get loose, wander onto major thoroughfares and get hit by a car or truck. I've seen it all too many times to look forward to it.
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