Karen Wolfgang and Isabel LaCourse

Karen Wolfgang and Isabel LaCourse, co-owners of Independence Gardens, LLC

If there’s anything a sluggish economy does, it’s make people crafty. By crafty, I mean arts-and-craftsy.

Take the Portland Chicken Shirt phenomenon. A couple of years ago, two women running a sustainable edible gardening business started screen printing some goofy chickens onto thrift-store t-shirts as holiday gifts for friends and family. Before long, other people wanted them and their creators realized they were on to a good thing. These shirts are fun, funky and come in great colors. I got one at Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply – and received another as a gift soon afterward! (Fortunately, a different color.) Now they’re making them in toddler and children’s sizes, too.

I was wearing one of mine under several woolly layers at a meeting recently and was talking with some folks about chickens. Before long, I mentioned my lovely chicken shirt, only to discover I was chatting with the shirt’s creator!

Since we in Portland are up to our ears in urban farming movement mud, it only makes sense that we want to show our chicken-love to the world… after all, once you’ve experienced the beady little eyes of your own hen staring at your hand and insistently pecking it because she thinks you have something to eat, long after you’ve opened your hand and shown her that you don’t, you’ll never be the same! And let’s not forget how adorable chickens look when they run… and roost… and sit on their eggs… Chickens are quite possibly the most endearing creatures on Earth. I’m sure that chicken-people are at least as proud of their friendly, charming, slug-eating, egg-producing pets as dog-people. And we all know how much dog-people love their dogs.

As long as chicken-people don’t start looking like their chickens the way dog-people morph into their dogs, I’m cool.

 

bella the dog!

Bella – the perfect dog for a chicken-person! Same size, weight and fluffiness but regrettably, no eggs and she doesn’t usually eat slugs. Of course, chickens don’t retrieve tennis balls.

Chicken Shirts are available in children’s sizes S, M, and L and adults’ XS, S, M, L, XL, and 2X, as well as long-sleeve S, M, and L (brown and black only). They have just started producing "Chicken Squirt" onesies and will soon add hoodies. Click here to see colors and styles or to order on-line. Or buy then at Linnton Feed & Seed, Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply, or Wichita Feed & Hardware at 6089 SE Johnson Creek Blvd., Portland (503-775-6767).