Meet Joanne Alcantara(left) and bOo Torres (right), the heart and soul of Seattle, Washington's 2 Brown Chicks Family Farm. Recently married and about to relocate their family farm to Juneau, Alaska 2 Brown Chicks have been a small-scale, community oriented urban agriculture project that has inspired people across Seattle to grow, raise, and catch their own vegetables, chickens, and water.
Torres and Alcantara, both queer women of color are not just farmers, but dedicated organizers and educators in their community. They sell fresh eggs and also raise free range and no hormone chickens that they sell and use as an educational tool to encourage people to learn to raise their own food. They sell laying hens, chicks, and also chick starter kits which include everything you need to raise baby chickens with the option to sell back the equipment to the farm when the chickens are grown. Genius! Through their build-a-chicken coop workshop days, people are invited to their farm to learn what it takes to raise chickens and to construct their own chicken coops from recycled materials to take home to house their birds. Including garden fresh lunch, the entire day is available to folks for an affordable $40.
Here is an example of one of the coops at 2 Brown Chicks Family Farm made from recycled material including dresser drawers for nesting boxes.
2 Brown Chicks encourages people to grow their own food whenever possible, and also to save the water necessary to do so through simple rainwater catchment technology. They purchase recycled 55-gallon food grade barrels and re-sell them. Their farm is a living example of how easy it can be to save water- here are photos of some of their rainwater catchment barrels:
Visiting with 2 Brown Chicks in Seattle was a great reminder that growing food and raising animals sustainably is deeply connected to cultivating sustainable communities. At least 50% of the profits from the farm go back directly into the community, mainly through their Community Activist Fund which funnels farm profits to local activist organizations that are specifically working for justice on issues that affect women of color, queer and youth-led organizations working toward sustainable communities, immigrant rights, universal healthcare, and the end of U.S. dominance in the world.
Thank you 2 Brown Chicks for your queer community oriented politicized sustainable farm dreams! Best of luck in Alaska...