By Scott Vanderlip
The first annual Silicon Valley Tour De Coop is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 27th.
The Silicon Valley Tour De Coop is modeled after an event called the Davis "Tour De Cluck," that a friend mentioned to me last spring. Although I was not able to attend the Davis coop tour, I was inspired to create my own local event.
The tour is designed to educate visitors about keeping hens, inspire the bicyclist and gardener in all of us, and build community. Open to adults and children, the tour will feature various hen houses and breeds. Coop owners are expected to be on hand at each location to discuss the how-tos of chicken-keeping.
The idea of combining coop and garden tours with a bike ride seemed like the best way to capture the new energy and cultural change in Silicon Valley toward a more local, sustainable healthy environment.
The tour will consist of 3 coop tour routes, a Los Altos route, Palo Alto route and combined Los Altos and Palo Alto route. The combined two city tour will have 12 coops and gardens stops.
The event is free, but limited registration is available on the Tour De Coop website at
As we meet with local coopsters in preparation for this tour, they all shared the simple pleasures of raising chickens and building that "urban homestead." Many homeowners already have discovered how easily and enjoyably they can create some of their own food in back or front yards in a much more local, healthy and sustainable approach to their lives and the planet.
This joy of going out to one's backyard and harvesting almost every you need to prepare a meal is something that the Tour De Coop coopsters can inspire you to do too.
I am reminded by a quote from Joel Salatin Book called Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World -
“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.”
Visit the Tour De Coop website http://tourdecoop.org and register now to be inspired by other coopsters and urban homesteaders, and you, too, can realize the benefits of having food come from your backyard.
A description of the coop stops, registration, tour information and volunteering opportunities all are described on the website.