Tonawanda News

Features

November 17, 2013

CRITTER COMPANIONS: The $64 egg

Tonawanda News — In March of 2007, Algonquin Books published a book that follows an author’s humorous horticulture tale of planning and planting a large vegetable garden. 

Clashes with landscapers, groundhogs, webworms, weeds and weather; midnight expeditions in the dead of winter to dig up fresh thyme; and battles with neighbors who feed the deer his cost analysis results in him coming out with each of his loved Brandywine tomatoes costing $64. 

The book is titled “The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden.”

Last week I had mentioned I was moving in the direction of living off the land. I upcycled most of the supplies for a chicken coop and was just getting ready for the egg-laying chickens. I had repurposed a decorative human-sized door into a chicken-sized, guillotine-style door where I could lock them in the night house or release them into the coop all with a simple pulley system, without ever having to go inside the coop. 

An old metal dog kennel that came with the property was used as the bottom of the night house for easy cleaning, and pieces of old decking where used as the sides. Even some chicken wire was found in the shed so that was used as one of the four sides. I ran to Lowes and spent around $35 for another roll of chicken wire, screws and washers to fasten everything together.

But then I ran out of supplies. This time I ran to Home Depot and bought another roll of chicken wire — a different brand, meaning a different style and color — more screws and washers, eye hooks, and hinges for the door to access the coop. That was another $40. I was almost finished and ran out of chicken wire again. That led to a third trip to the home improvement store for chicken wire and two bags of play sand. 

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