On Thursday Jordanne & Farmer D headed down to Newport Beach for a planning and think session with the Planning Center and special guest John Thackara

They got there early and had a chance to chat with Thackara and few others before the meeting started.  Jordanne said that a lot of folks came up saying how much PTF was such an inspiration to them.   After breakfast was served, Thackara gave a presentation about the sustainable advances of European cities.

Farmer D was up next with a brief 15 minute presentation on the impact of one and the importance of starting small and not waiting for others to start.  On wrapping up, Farmer D left the audience there with three questions/challenges


Let the Sun Shine In

(on the one side of the slide was photo of a towering condo development within a few feet of a typical one story home)


For the End of the Century

“ I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen.  We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California.  I don’t actually see how they can keep their cities going.”

Secretary of Energy
Stephen Chu (Feb 3, 2009)


City codes could make it difficult to overcome the status quo.

Could “a bad apple” lead to the banning of what is still seen as new and different?

Jordanne said that many of the people took the thinking small to heart hearing them discuss that many people just think of the big picture and wait for funding or grants to start.  It’s all about stepping out and taking that first step on your own – earning your own way.

Then after everyone made their presentations each group took a challenge or a question posed by the presenters to a round table discussion where they would brainstorm to come up with solutions.  Those attending this session were made up of city officials, community activists, foundation and corporate representatives.

The one question that one group chose from Farmer D’s presentation was relating to revising city codes. Farmer D made reference to a So Cal city which is trying to outlaw chickens, ducks and more

Jordanne of course threw her two, more like three, cents in over this, saying that there are ways to go about making responsible laws allowing pet chickens and other pet barnyard animals with respectable animal limits (like Pasadena) and issued permits if necessary.

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  1. Stacy says:

    Having grown up in San Clemente, I am disappointed and yet unsurprised by their proposed ordinance. Putting in more realistic limitations, like setback requirements (how LA deals with chickens) and acreage/animal requirements is much more realistic. At least the measure was postponed so they could revamp it with [hopefully!] more functional limitations. Education and licensing is a potential answer – even most of the people I know who research their animals before acquiring them learn they knew barely enough when they start keeping them – having an education program in place to convey the truly important, key points to folk before they take animals on wouldn’t be a bad thing. Most responsible animal owners I know would LOVE a detailed central source for data.

  2. Sinfonian says:

    That is just insane. I sure hope they don’t include you in that (I don’t know your area). If so, could you at least earn an exemption as a farm? You sell your crops and eggs to restaurants. That should more than qualify.

    Grrr. They should at the very least grandfather folks in.

  3. john thackara says:

    And hay: it was a pleasure and inspiration to meet with you. Thanks so much for taking the time to come.

  4. Urban Chicks: Raising Chickens in the City - Go Green - SustainLane says:

    […] as long as their home sits at least 100 feet from another house or lot. Residents who live on smaller lots cannot obtain permits.Although the proposal to ban all farm animals, such as chickens, cows and […]

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