Saturday, April 7, 2012

wow

Yes, I'm looking for an immersion blender, a tabletop espresso machine, and a chicken coop, thanks.

44 Comments:

Blogger Rebecca said...

You know, I was wondering where the yuppie wannabe farmers in my suburbs were buying their gold-plated chicken coops. Though I do love spying the "Tart and Sweet" canning book by Jessie Knadler (of "Rurally Screwed" blog) at the bottom of the page. :-)

April 7, 2012 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

That's either a very small coop or they raise some giant chickens. The rooster is half the height of the pen.

April 7, 2012 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I'm speechless. And by that, I mean I have so much to say and none of it's good.

April 7, 2012 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Girl With A Hoe said...

Hey the chicken coop has bicycle wheels, you ride to the butchers! Save gas and wear and tear on your truck!!! Looks like that's the Hilton of chicken coops. Way to go!

April 7, 2012 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hahaha CJ I was thinkin the same thing... But it would go so perfectly with the chenille throw in the pigpen! ;

April 7, 2012 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

What Tara said. I guess I'm surprised it took so long for Madison Ave to co-opt the simplify/sustainability movement. Man. Or, The Man as the case may be.

April 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

teeheeteehee. . . .

but those wecks are really cool looking. . . . .

mmmkay, I'm back to the reality of my own checkbook.

April 7, 2012 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

I think I'm with Tara!!!!

April 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger August Johnson said...

I also agree with Tara!

April 7, 2012 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Yes it's "bad" but I can't help liking it...I'm not handy at all and I admit I love it when things look Martha Stewart-y! I'm terrible at DIY-from-refurbished-scraps projects but I am trying. While I'm still getting the knack, I don't mind paying a little extra to get it pre-fab! I know, I know...

April 7, 2012 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Although I did laugh at the "chicken coop predator kit" for $59.95. Even I can work with a roll of garden wire for $4.95.

April 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger reliker said...

I guess I don't see what the problem is--so people who can afford nice things want to do their own gardening or beekeeping or raising chickens. Farming and ranching isn't only for people that do it from necessity so I think it's great a variety of people (including those rich enough not to actually get their hands dirty and pay someone else to do it for them) are interested in it. Isn't the idea to have us all be more self-sufficient?

April 7, 2012 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

Jenna,
My coffee table is an antique chicken coop, & lots of people have wanted to purchase it; but it's not going anywhere.
Really like Cold Antler Farm blog,
& will continue to read about your
journey. Thanks.
A Very Happy X Seat Weaver Ronnie

April 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I think it's a good thing, I'm just surprised, is all. I mean, what is more main stream than that?!

I know a lot of us are rolling our eyes, but think of it this way, someone who cares that much about food, and has that amount of money, is willing to start getting its high-end customers thinking about growing peas and raising chicks and honey?

a little over the top, but their heart is in the right place.

April 7, 2012 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

reliker, exactly. I posted it because I was shocked, not because I think its bad!

April 7, 2012 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

and tara, lara, I get it from your side too.


really, the wow says it all. to me this means homesteading is getting so popular will Barney's start an Urban Homestead sale on plaids and denim?

April 7, 2012 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

I wasn't sure what to think...I guess my first reaction was, "Cool! Raised beds I don't have to build! But I'm quite sure I could never bring myself to pay whatever they're charging." So I checked out the prices and yeah, I was right.

I was very young in the 1970s, but I'm feeling more and more a sense of deja-vu these days. I remember my parents making natural Easter-egg dyes one year from onions, beets and black walnuts. Anyway, I'll be curious to see if this Agrarian thing "sticks" in the mainstream consciousness any more than it did last time. 'Cause when the 80s rolled around, phew...

(Also, can you imagine the young marketing guys sitting around tossing out words until they settled on Agrarian? Hee hee.)

April 7, 2012 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger becky3086 said...

I totally don't understand this post. I have seen lots of sites that are more expensive. I don't get it. Look at what you and others are charging for thing? I don't judge.

April 7, 2012 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Becky, It isn't about money. William Sonoma is a very main stream, high end, kitchen/food store. The fact they are selling homesteading fare means it has gone so main stream its...well, for sale in the mall. Quite a change from just a few years ago!

April 7, 2012 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

I did like the pretty green color of their coop!

April 7, 2012 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

I don't get it.

Yesterday you said
' The best protection against rising food and gas prices is a safe source of food at home, and a strong community ready for anything. I am for every American learning to use less energy in their homes, driving less in their cars, and producing a substantial amount of food at home.' ' I think expecting everything you need to be at a store and an outside source to home to your rescue is both irresponsible and dangerous. I don't think this is about fear, but about sense.'

Why would you roll your eyes? Integrating espresso machines and chicken coops is awesome! This advertisement in a widely circulated catalog may plant the seed for those who hadn't previously considered raising a small backyard flock. Chickens aren't just for 'farmers' and putting a coop (hive and cheese making kit!) in with common kitchen appliances is a wonderful introduction, especially for those who have never stepped in a farm store or imagined themselves raising poulty in their backyard. Chickens in a yard should be as common place as a blender in the kitchen. Raising chickens is so easy a 5 year old could be soley responsible for their care. Perhaps seeing this ad among toasters and knifes may cause individuals to think, hey, I can do this too! Be it a purchase of the trendy homesteading movement or a lifestyle change towards a more sustainable future, this ad could lead to less demand on factory farming, healthier eggs/meat, and a deeper connection with their food. What a positive and encouraging step in the right directions!

The coop itself is great, allows the chickens access to fresh pasture, looks easily moved, includes a small run, and can be made predator proof...and pleasing to the eye, the colors are gorgous! This would be a great coop for a handful of hens, all the average family needs. Why is it over the top? Because they didn't build it? I would personally love to own one, 3 bantam hens and a rooster would live in the lap of luxury.

Wiliams-Sonoma offers a wide range of environmently conscious products, from brushes with bamboo handles and recycled plastic bristles to their use of sustainable pine. High end meets environmentally friendly, imagine that.

@ Rebecca - Yuppie wanna be farmers? What a horrible attitude. Does ones location make them more or less deserving of chickens? Does the quality or price tag of the coop determine it? When you see that new fancy gold plated coop, introduce yourself and welcome them to the fold, not pass judgement. Self Righteous much? Who cares if someone buys a turnkey coop, a fancy setup with chickens is better than none at all.

April 7, 2012 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger MollyKnits said...

My husband is building the nicest chicken coop for our six hens!

April 7, 2012 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Mindy Smith said...

I'm thinking William Sonoma are just being business savvy here. Where I live and farm (the metro DC area), many counties have just allowed residents to raise chickens in their backyards (no more than 3 in Alexandria, VA - no roosters). These folks may want to add a couple of ladies to their backyards but 1. Aren't necessarily carpentry handy (neither am I) or 2. Want chickens but aren't sure what's the best habitat. While I'd never spend close to a 1000 bucks on a chicken coop, I know plenty of people who would (my boss included - he's purchasing three chicks and the Cadillac of chicken coops for his daughter's birthday this month partly because she so loved my birds) and William Sonoma will be able to provide them a VERY nice, turnkey coop just waiting for chicks. I say to each their own and I'm more than happy to provide these so called yuppie farmers with juvenile pullets at a tidy profit for me and my farm.

April 7, 2012 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Mindy Smith said...

I'm thinking William Sonoma are just being business savvy here. Where I live and farm (the metro DC area), many counties have just allowed residents to raise chickens in their backyards (no more than 3 in Alexandria, VA - no roosters). These folks may want to add a couple of ladies to their backyards but 1. Aren't necessarily carpentry handy (neither am I) or 2. Want chickens but aren't sure what's the best habitat. While I'd never spend close to a 1000 bucks on a chicken coop, I know plenty of people who would (my boss included - he's purchasing three chicks and the Cadillac of chicken coops for his daughter's birthday this month partly because she so loved my birds) and William Sonoma will be able to provide them a VERY nice, turnkey coop just waiting for chicks. I say to each their own and I'm more than happy to provide these so called yuppie farmers with juvenile pullets at a tidy profit for me and my farm.

April 7, 2012 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

Ummmm....hmmm...well...For being so expensive, they sure seem to have cheapened all that is good about agrarianism.
-Jaime

April 7, 2012 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger L. said...

i don't see the big deal. it fits a certain market. sure, its ridiculous, but whatever. they wouldn't do it if there wasn't some sort of market for it.

although i have to say, my mind was BLOWN by the fact that they are selling lettuce plants, 8" height - SINGLE PLANTS - shipped for $16.95!!!!! i could buy enough freckles lettuce seed for five years for less than that. and what the hell do you do with an 8" lettuce plant? pick a few leaves before it bolts? the offensive thing i find about this is somewhere there is a gardener that knows better that is selling something that won't work. that's what bothers me about this!

April 8, 2012 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger Bluebelle Quilts said...

I love kitchen stores and W-S is a must stop when I'm in the area. I love their baking pans, kitchen textiles and candles. I'm going to have fun with this agrarian section.

Assemble-it-myself raised beds for $150? I can buy 4 pieces of western red cedar at HD, have the store cut the boards to size (notches included) and buy the hardware for less than $40.00.

I do like the chicken tractor and some of their vintage metal planters.

April 8, 2012 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Here's.the thing: I'm all for awareness, but I really don't believe that's the intent here. I think it's a well executed attempt to cash in on something that's perceived as "hot" right now. I totally have no issue with retailers charging more for something that's unique, or of notably higher quality, or for convevience. What I object to here is that they're selling a lot of very ordinary items at a very high mark up, and we shouldn't assume that everyone who buys it is rich or can afford it (they do kindly offer a credit card, after all). Nope, I'm prettty sure this is about profit. If they were trying to set the trend, they wouldn't be so far behind the curve here.

April 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM  
OpenID T. Crockett said...

Even more than the Willems Sonoma items, what I find interesting is how each of us can read your short post differently. Some of us saw scorn, some excitement, some a comment on capitalism. As a writing teacher it's both instructive and fascinating.

April 8, 2012 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

I see no problem at all with WS selling this sort of thing. The current HOT trend is anything homesteading. Look at how well attended the workshops that folks put on are. Stuff that I did, and can do and show people free of charge, people will pay others to show them. It's a free country. If people think this is cool, and worth the $$ so be it. I remember video taping my shearer shearing my sheep, and he went to great length to explain this was the "Missouri style" and on and on, and he never charged me for that lesson. That's what we farmers/agrarians do, we share the wealth and knowledge gratis- so long as we can be of help.

April 8, 2012 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

T. Crockett, I couldn't agree more! It teaches me more about how people read this blog (and me) than WS homesteading!

April 8, 2012 at 9:44 AM  
OpenID amovingtale said...

Heh! The $14.95 twine did give me a chuckle. Beautiful branding, though :)

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/nutscene-williams-sonoma-tin-of-twine/?cm_src=hero

April 8, 2012 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

Selling ordinary items for a marketed up price is how businesses make money. its not taking advantage, everyone has the choice to build their own coop, plant their own seeds, or purchase their own chicks but not everyone has the time, interest or physical ability to start from scratch. Jenna charges $150 for a day at her house and 3 chicks. Someone could find that information online and spend $5 on chicks. Marketing and money making is the name of the game. Williams-Sonoma after all is a for profit company, people don't spend money there looking to save money.

What I see is an ad, people aren't required to purchase this coop, but guranteed it will get the ball rolling and more chickens in residential yards.

April 8, 2012 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Chicky said...

Meredith A hits the nail on the head! Who cares if it becomes mainstream - isn't that a good thing?? To judge against that is to be hypocritical...because we don't like when we're judged for our choices to raise chickens, grow our own food, etc.
-Christina L.

April 8, 2012 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Chicky said...

And thanks for the post, Jenna. It started a good discussion...interesting to see how each perceives it. :)

April 8, 2012 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

This really is interesting - I'm intrigued to see how many people say that they're helping the movement go mainstream. In my area, it already is pretty mainstream (or at least old news) and WS has come rather late to the party. This probably explains why I view it the way I do. I sort of thought this was the case everywhere, but perhaps not? Maybe the saturation of the homesteading movement varies widely by region? I find this particularly fascinating because we're usually pretty behind on these things. Around here, though, this kind of reads like an epic marketing fail.

April 8, 2012 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

I'm in love with farming in all of its forms and varieties. I grew up with the 40-acre, feed-your-family-for-the-winter type of farming. That farm in the middle of the Maine woods taught me what it means to be self-sufficient. I love my parents for giving me that.

Last week, I signed a lease for an apartment in DC. 500 square feet of living space for me and my dog, but a big ol' patio on the back with room for a worm bin, some herbs, and probably lots of 'yuppie variety' fixings from the local garden store.

Some day, I'll have a big farm to call my own (sheep, chickens, full gardens - the dream is real). But I'm excited to the core of my very being to start my own version of a farm in DC. I may be a 'yuppie wannabe farmer', but shoot I'm going to have fun with it.

April 8, 2012 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Chicky said...

Tara, good point. The movement is most definitely not mainstream in my area - I live in a state that revolves around the energy industry & many (most) residents find their entertainment through some form of gas guzzling activity (ATV's or snowmobiles), local food is an "oddity" & people just simply don't care about the environment or self-sufficiency. (Of course I'm generalizing, I know some people in my state are trying, but it's a minority) Sadly, I'm also in an agricultural area, but it's big money agriculture & the big ranches are only interested in sending food out (more money), not keeping it local.

April 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

I'm in love with farming in all of its forms and varieties. I grew up with the 40-acre, feed-your-family-for-the-winter type of farming. That farm in the middle of the Maine woods taught me what it means to be self-sufficient. I love my parents for giving me that.

Last week, I signed a lease for an apartment in DC. 500 square feet of living space for me and my dog, but a big ol' patio on the back with room for a worm bin, some herbs, and probably lots of 'yuppie variety' fixings from the local garden store.

Some day, I'll have a big farm to call my own (sheep, chickens, full gardens - the dream is real). But I'm excited to the core of my very being to start my own version of a farm in DC. I may be a 'yuppie wannabe farmer', but shoot I'm going to have fun with it.

April 8, 2012 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

I think its funny that some readers would get upset at what essentially Micheil Perry makes his living doing - poking fun at things like a $600 chicken coop or $60 for a 25' roll of hardware cloth and a handful of spikes.

I think buying one of these coops would be down right ridiculous, the old "fool and his money" thing. If you really need to see a Cadillac chicken coop in a magazine to inspire you to raise some chickens - perhaps its not the best idea.

Maybe I live a sheltered life, but are people really that far removed from doing for themselves that this is inspiring?

April 8, 2012 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

@CJ - that's my other concern. I have a feeling the Williams-Sonoma set, even if inspired to raise chickens and the like, would be in for a huge shock when faced with the reality of it. My mom falls nicely within their target market, actually. She just moved onto 5 acres in California. She thought for awhile that she wanted goats and chickens (both of which I have). Since I've known her for all of my 40 years, I can say with confidence that this would NOT be a good match, and would only lead to heartache. I've been (pretty successfully) working to steer her toward "agrarian" activities that are more likely to meet her expectations.

April 9, 2012 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Lissa B. said...

We actually got this catalog in the mail and I literally started cracking up because I have the "vintage baby bathtub" that they are selling for like $200 on my back porch right now, full of flowers. But mine is real, was $20 and I've had it for a few years now. Not to mention the bee hives and coops! To each his own, I guess! But my husband did look at me funny when I started laughing at the catalog. ;)

April 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Lissa B. said...

We actually got this catalog in the mail and I literally started cracking up because I have the "vintage baby bathtub" that they are selling for like $200 on my back porch right now, full of flowers. But mine is real, was $20 and I've had it for a few years now. Not to mention the bee hives and coops! To each his own, I guess! But my husband did look at me funny when I started laughing at the catalog. ;)

April 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM  

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