Bob Davis acquired his first chicken to keep when he was 12 years old. Since then, he's been trying to figure out why more people don't have them.
"I fell in love with them instantly," he says, explaining that chickens not only provide a good source for eggs, they also offer their humans a sense of grounding. Davis has sporadically housed chickens in his yard for almost 50 years. Since 2005, he's made it his mission to help others do the same. With his wife, Judy Morgan-Davis, and a friend, Bev Norwood, he co-founded Raleigh's Hen-side the Beltline Tour d'Coop (hensidethebeltline.blogspot.com), a garden tour that provides folks a chance to see a variety of urban chicken homes. And twice a year, he teaches Chicken Keeping 101, a workshop that provides basic information about providing a home for the animals.
The two-hour class will be offered Saturday, Oct. 30, at 10 a.m.; Sunday, Oct. 31, at 2 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m., in Room 159 of Kilgore Hall at N.C. State University. Davis says he'll offer the "nuts and bolts about how to keep chickens," including information about chicken health and how to proof a coop against predators.
"It's really going to be the basics of chicken keeping, not a graduate-level course," Davis says, though he promises to include a tremendous amount of detail in two hours' time. "I'll talk faster than the average Southern boy."
The workshop costs $5, which can be paid on-site before it begins. No preregistration is required. For more information, including details about free parking, visit the Hen-side the Beltline website.
Thursday evening, Farmhand Foods, a new company that connects area pasture-based farmers with local retailers and consumers, will kick off its business with an event at Fullsteam Brewery (726 Rigsbee Ave., Durham, 682-BEER, www.fullsteam.ag). Beginning at 5:30 p.m., Farmhand Foods' mobile eatery, the Sausage Wagon, will sell a variety of sausages on Guglhupf rolls for $6 each. Among other options will be smoky Polish sausage with pimento cheese and pickles, and a country breakfast link with maple butter and roasted apples.
Following the Fullsteam event, check the Farmhand Foods website (www.farmhandfoods.com) for the Sausage Wagon's whereabouts. The truck plans to make regular stops throughout the Durham area. In addition, Farmhand Foods anticipates offering products from a consortium of North Carolina farmers to restaurants and retailers early next year.
And at Fullsteam, be on the lookout for more food vendors. Joey D's NY Dogs (www.joeydsnydogs.com) plans to serve food in front of the brewery beginning at 5 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday.
For more events in Durham, visit the Regulator Bookshop (720 Ninth St., 286-2700, www.regulatorbookshop.com). The independent bookseller has the authors of two great food reads on its schedule. At 7 p.m. Thursday, find Durham's Jonathan Bloom with his book American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It), and at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, Chapel Hill's Nancie McDermott presents her new work, Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes, From Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan.