Urban Agriculture Taking Off in Portland

Whether a result of the recession, increased awareness around food ethics or old fashioned environmentalism, urban agriculture is taking off across the country. That’s evident in Portland, Ore., where I’ve met several people who have taken their backyard operations to a new level.

The idea is simple: If you don’t like how food is being produced, produce it yourself. This has led many to cultivate gardens and raise farm animals in the least likely of places — urban backyards and rooftops.

I interviewed my friend, Josh Leake, who decided to construct a chicken coop just about a month ago. He’s built what some have called the best chicken coop in Portland. None of his chickens — he’s got nine of them — have matured enough to lay their first eggs, but in waiting, he’s become something of a hobby farmer.

A cool (and very urban) side note: Josh has a webcam set up inside his coop and you can view it at portlandchicken.com. Kind of gives a whole new meaning to “live feed,” doesn’t it?