Sunset

What we're reading this week:

Edible everywhere: We're glad to see that the Edible Communities magazine family has expanded to California's Central Coast. Edible Santa Barbara's first issue is on newsstands now. Go to ediblesantabarbara.com for more info.

Backyard chickens I: It's new chick time! All over the West, folks are taking the plunge andgetting themselves a little brood of chick-lets. Our own contributinghome editor, the marvelous Samantha Schoech, who has been talking aboutgetting her own chicks for months, finally took the plunge. I'm lovingthe chick videos she's posting on her blog, Up Mama's Wall. Hilarious.

A seaworthy distraction: (Speaking of the Edible publications, our mouths are watering over Edible San Franciso's Locavore Cioppino. I can't raise Dungeness crabs or Hog Island oysters in my backyard, but the ocean's pretty close, right? Well, now that I'm thinking of cioppino, I'm reminded of Sunset's quick recipe for cioppino from a couple of years ago. I must be hungry.)

Backyard chickens II: The Associated Press noticed that backyard chickens are catching on. (We could have told you that.) The supreme purveyor of Internetz snark, Gawker.com, noticed the AP story. Thus, Gawker writes about how "we are becoming Cuba." (What?) Anway, the Gawker story has a link to the AP story, which quotes Rob Ludlow of Pleasant Hill, Calif, owner of my all-time favorite chicken reference site, BackyardChickens.com. Worth clicking through, if only to read this: "A confluence of localvore do-gooderism and desperate poverty istransforming America's suburbs into a Third World hellscape, becauseotherwise-normal people are raising chickens in their backyards." Oh Gawker, will my love for you ever cease?

Buzzy, bees-y: Our own queen bee Margaret Sloan pointed us toward Beekind, a store in Sebastopol specializing in all things bee. Candles, wax, honey, hives, and other gewgaws. Speaking of bee-related shopping, I can't get enough of Chinacherie's Etsy store with her affordable bee-themed jewelry.

Loca-techno-vore: I can't decide whether I'm going to pony up the $2.99 for the Locavore iPhone app (see right). I mean, I love local eating, and I love my iPhone, but do I need the two to connect? Here's what the Locavore app does: tells you what's in season, what will soon be in season, where your local farmer's markets are, and it links you to Wikipedia, so you can get oriented about what exactly the fruits and vegetables it's telling you about are. Do I need that? Not sure. But apparently almost 5,700 people downloaded Locavore in its first month. (Readers: Do you have it? Do you like it? Let me know in comments.)

Backyard chickens III:Tucson's getting a chicken coop tour! May 23. Mark your calendars. Plus, it's sponsored by the Food Conspiracy, which has to be the greatest co-op name of all time.

by Elizabeth Jardina, Sunset researcher

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