Chickens at the Opera House ~ Sunday, Oct 19

Chickens at the Opera House

The Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan is hosting a fun and educational event celebrating the latest trend in backyard gardening…chickens! Adults, children and families are invited to celebrate the backyard chicken on Sunday, October 19 at 3 pm at the Traverse City Opera House.

backyard-chickens-traverse-cityChickens have burst upon our landscape as an easy and inconspicuous barnyard animal readily adapted to urban and suburban life. Chickens are omnivores who love pecking through the yard for leftover food scraps, bugs and feed. In return they give the feeder wonderful fresh eggs full of nutritious protein and fats. Free range eggs are the rage and owning the chickens that produce them is a popular activity for adults and children alike.

If you’re curious, Traverse City’s backyard chicken ordinance doesn’t require a permit and allows 4 chickens (but no roosters).

The featured speaker is Jessi Bloom, author of “Free-Range Chicken Gardens”. Jessi will present *What the Cluck?!” which will address the basics of how to integrate chickens into your garden, designing beneficial habitat for them including the top 10 chicken garden plants.

Free Range Chickens by Jessi BloomBloom is an award-winning landscape designer whose work emphasizes ecological systems, sustainability, and self-sufficiency. She is a certified professional horticulturalist and certified arborist, as well as a long-time chicken owner with a free-ranging flock in her home garden. You can learn more about Jessi and her work at

Also in the program will be Jen Strauss of Story Be Told Productions who will tell chicken stories such as “An Appalachian Tale of Two Chickens” and “The Chicken Who Thought She Was an Eagle”. The finalists of a “chicken joke” contest with entries from local school children will also be featured and Leelanau County’s 4-H’s “Synchronized Chickens” will perform.

The Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan celebrates home gardens, landscaping, soil quality, pollinator gardens, tree fruit and small fruit, food preservation, lawn care, water quality and now, CHICKENS! Their goal is to share quality, researched-based practices and knowledge with the community. Having fun is always an added benefit.

Doors open at 2:15. Program will run from 3-5 pm. Tickets are $15 for Adults; $12 for Seniors, Students and MGANM Members; $5 for ages 6-17 with kids 6 & under 6 free. Contact MGANM’s Whitney Miller at or the Traverse City Opera House for more information.

Here’s the trailer for Jessi’s book: