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Urban farming: having fruits, veggies and eggs in your backyard

Most people take a trip to the grocery store when they need fruit, vegetables and eggs; but what if instead, you could replace that with a trip to your backyard?

An Idaho Falls city ordinance states that city dwellers are allowed to have up to six chickens on their property.

More and more people are leaning toward growing their own fruits and veggies and even buying chickens to lay eggs. Urban farming is what most are calling it and it’s become increasingly popular.

“You can pick it when it’s fresh,” said Wayne Jones, an educator with the University of Idaho extension program. “When you go to the store, a lot of times they pick them when it’s not quite right and the flavor is pretty flat. In fact, a lot of times the flavor is flat.”

Chickens are clucking their way into backyards with promises of rewarding their care-takers with eggs. For one local family, their six chickens serve two purposes: laying eggs and teaching their children responsibility.

“It’s been really fun,” said Serena Shiverdecker, a chicken owner of four months. “The kids got to join in the process. They got to paint the chicken coop and decorate it themselves and name the chickens. They get to gather the eggs too and they have lots of fun doing that.”

Shiverdecker’s two daughters, Marissa and Brittany are in charge of taking care of the chickens.

“we have to go out there and feed them every day,” said Marissa.

“I have to go out and get the eggs. They usually lay them at lunch time,” said Brittany.

Believe it or not, two domestic honey bee hives are also allowed in the city. The honey they can provide is appetizing, but they can also help out local gardeners.

“One in three bites is attributed to bees — one in three bites of food we eat, we have to thank a bee for,” said Jones.

Chickens are also allowed in Rexburg and Pocatello, with some provisions; however, they are not allowed at all in Blackfoot or Rigby.

Roosters are completely banned within city limits.

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