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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Foodies and Carpenters Pitch In to Build Chicken Houses at Soul Food Farm

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 9:24 AM

click to enlarge A fire earlier this month threatened the farm's plans for expansion. - ARTHUR PERLEY
  • Arthur Perley
  • A fire earlier this month threatened the farm's plans for expansion.
Which came first, the chicken house or the eggs? After the devastating fire September 3 at pastured chicken-and-egg ranch Soul Food Farm, new housing was needed immediately for the 600 baby chicks that arrive weekly (the fire destroyed two chicken houses and about 1,000 birds). News got around, and last weekend a couple of dozen volunteers from S.F. and the East Bay trekked north and knocked together four new houses designed by Eric Koefoed (co-owner of the farm, with wife Alexis), despite sweltering heat.

click to enlarge Volunteers pitched in over the weekend. - ARTHUR PERLEY
  • Arthur Perley
  • Volunteers pitched in over the weekend.
SFoodie talked with Arthur Perley of Slow Food Berkeley, who was there on Sunday. "There were six degrees of separation among the volunteers," Perley told us. "No one person there knew everybody. Bonnie Powell organized the work days -- she's also going to be running Soul Food Farm's CSA. There were semi-professional contractors there on Saturday who banged together the frames. And Jefferson Mack created an amazing office for Alexis out of an ocean-going shipping container that had been the info booth for Slow Food Nation -- he cut windows and made sculptures on it out of found objects. It was a hard long day, but festive." Lunch included chicken, and a huge pasta salad from a neighbor.

click to enlarge Chicks destined for the new house. - ARTHUR PERLEY
  • Arthur Perley
  • Chicks destined for the new house.
Sounds like more fun than the barn-raising in Witness. We pity the poor Amish, sans Facebook, blogs, and Twitter. But never underestimate the power of really good-tasting hens and their fruit. A number of restaurant benefits for Soul Food Farm go down around town in the next several days. We'll be reporting updates.

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Meredith Brody

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