A Day of Eggsercise

Starting lineup

 

The Great Race starts in Saratoga and ends four miles later in Los Gatos. It happened today, and I did it again this year. But this year was different. I came home with almost five dozen eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken coop with chickens in the enclosureAbout three years ago someone started building a a shed and a chicken coup on a little piece of land that juts out from our mountain. It is just before the end of the road that leads to our house. This is not property that a house could occupy. But a water tank was installed. I understood from neighborhood chatter that the water was obtained through a deal with a neighbor who lives on the uphill side of the road. The mini-farmyard was the brainchild of a flat-lander who lived at the bottom of the hill in Saratoga. He wanted to have his children experience rural life–and chickens. On weekends the family could be seen there scampering up and down the hill as the place took shape. Soon the chicken coop with its fenced outdoor yard was inhabited by a cock and a number of Rhode Island Red hens.

Through a conversation with another neighbor in the locker room of the place where I work out, I learned where the owner of the “farm” lived–a location at the bottom of the mountain that I passed nearly every day. It was right across the street from the elementary school.

Two flats of eggsToday when I went down to Saratoga for the Great Race, I parked my car in the parking lot at the elementary school. As I got out, I saw a man come out the front door of the house where the “chicken people” lived. I went over and asked him if he was the chicken guy. He was. He was. We talked a bit and then he said, “Just a minute!” He left and entered the house and soon came out with two flats of eggs. “These should last you a few weeks,” he said. “Where is your car?”

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And so I did the Race with a pretty good time for me and came home with a prize of 53 very local eggs from chickens I wave to every day.

We had omelets for brunch.

Mountain Cleanup

There are about forty households in the three miles up here at the end of our road. Over the years outsiders have used this steep terrain to dispose of things they needed to ditch (literally!). About thirty of us met at our house up here at the end of the road and spent the day working our way down and cleaning up the ‘hood. One neighbor had a large trailer, another a small bulldozer. We roped ourselves down steep hillsides and found more than we expected–including an empty open safe, an old toilet, a sports car hulk from which the motor had been removed, an old entertainment center and enough old tires to outfit FedEx.

I took pictures and put them together into this video. Although I intended it just for the neighbors, we were able to use it to get the County to waive the considerable cost of dumping this trash. They also recognized us at a Board of Supervisors meeting and gave us a plaque.