The Summer of Self-Sufficiency
Not that we have anything against local farmers, but you could get away with leaning on them a little less.
As you scroll through seed catalogues by a crackling fire, daydreaming about your backyard garden at the height of summer—cucumbers as big as a forearm, so many snap peas, jalapenos that seem to absorb every degree of the sun’s heat—consider making this the year you finally go for it. Over the last few summers, you’ve become increasingly self-sufficient. Hell, last year you grew more veggies than your fridge and kitchen counter could hold. Yet most Saturday mornings, you still found yourself standing over the $5-carton of eggs at the farmers market wondering if you could pull it off. Of course you can. Chickens are about as low-maintenance as pets get. (Mind you, we’re talking about two or three here, four tops.) And with this stylish, nearly seven-foot-tall cedar coop from Williams-Sonoma ($1,500; $150 for delivery and assembly), it’s really as simple as flipping open the drop-down door and plucking your eggs. A not-insignificant feature: Both the chicken and egg doors lock. Finding out that a fox reached your breakfast first is not something that you can unsee. You’re not a farmer, after all. You’re just harvesting your own eggs. Simple as that. —Scott Edwards
Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma