April 19, 2014 is the date for the 6th Annual Funky Chicken Coop Tour®, with coop viewing from 10am-4pm. Since that’s six months away, what’s better for a Funky Chicken Coop Tour fan than a fall interview with tour organizer, and founder of the Urban Poultry Association of Texas, Inc., Michelle Hernandez? 2014 planning is already underway. Make sure to sign up online to volunteer. Read on for more news!
Hi Michelle, Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us today. As avid followers of the FCCT, we know that you are already deep in the midst of planning and organizing for the 2014 Funky Chicken Coop Tour.
What kind of changes will we see this year to handle the growing number of attendees?
MH: This year we will move our FCCT Information Center and Tour Headquarters to Sunshine Community Gardens (SCG). SCG is a perfect venue to show how community can work together to grow food. It is wonderful community space with gardens, chickens, and lots of parking! The FCCT Information Center will be set up like a celebration with gardens, chickens, educational talks, vendors, and more!
The Funky Chicken Coop Tour promotes sustainable living in Austin by donating funds to local food causes. Who were the recipients last year, and when will the 2014 recipients be selected?
MH: We believe in paying it forward by supporting and promoting other local not-for-profit endeavors focusing on local food education and expansion. In 2013, we gave a portion of our proceeds after Tour expenses to two local organizations. The first is Partners in Education, Agriculture, and Sustainability (PEAS), a collective of educators, students, parents and community members building and operating the Community Organic Farm at Cunningham Elementary (www.peasfarm.org). PEAS used the FCCT donation on additional fencing that will allow them to expand their garden space by approximately 33% of their current capacity.
The second is Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms (UP), a neighborhood-based, community-run urban agriculture network (http://www.urbanpatchwork.org). UP told us the money FCCT donated will go toward rainwater ponds used for ducks, chickens and bees as well as crops, and to further build out the demonstration systems at their gardens.
We are currently finalizing our 2014 FCCT local food beneficiary. Expect announcements in October on our selection!
Will there be coops raffled again this year?
MH: We appreciate our sponsor support and look forward to donations. Our 2014 FCCT Sponsorship season will begin in October 2013. Watch for exciting updates after this time on the raffle and other updates!
Will you be featuring a cycling tour again this year? The 2013 Bicycle Tour de Funky Coops for families and beginner cyclist was a great success.
MH: We are very excited at the 2013 Tour de Funky Chickens cycling ride participation. We had people of all ages and levels participate. We are working out the details for our 2014 2-wheeled aspects of our tour. We are excited about the partnership on which we are working. Stay tuned for more details!
Thank you Michelle, we look forward to more updates about the 2014 Funky Chicken Coop Tour. Where can people ask questions and find information about sponsorship, donations, and volunteering?
MH: Thank you! People can learn more about our FUNky Tour by going to our website at AustinCoopTour.org. They can also keep up to date with the latest news and updates on our FCCT social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and more!