Crow about it
What: Fifth annual Tour de Cluck
When: Kickoff 9 a.m. Saturday, May 24; coop crawl begins at 10 a.m.
Where: U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, 303 Third St.
Tickets: $15 general, $10 students and seniors; available online at www.tourdecluck.org; Hibbert Lumber, 500 G St.; The Avid Reader, 617 Second St.; the Davis Food Co-op, 620 G St.; and at the Davis Farmers Market
By Beth Harrison
Looking for an “eggs-cellent” way to spend a Saturday?
Join the fifth annual Tour de Cluck, a bicycle tour of backyard chicken coops, on Saturday, May 24. The event is a fundraiser to benefit the programs of Davis Farm to School and Yolo Farm to Fork, nonprofit organizations supporting farm-fresh and local produce in school lunches, school gardens, elementary school farm visits, and recycling and composting programs.
The self-guided coop crawl begins at 10 a.m. Participants will follow a route map provided with their ticket purchase, and will be able to visit any of the coops in order of their preference. Volunteers will help keep cyclists on track and also provide chicken and coop advice along the route.
Coops may be visited by bicycle or by car. Hosts will welcome riders to their chicken coops and will discuss the finer points of keeping chickens. Participants will be able to see some of Davis’ most inventive and practical coops.
Chicken-themed activities dominate the day, and begin with the kickoff ceremony at 9 a.m. in Central Park. Chicken fans will gather for the festivities next to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, 303 Third St. Davis City Council candidates and local residents will be invited to show their “courage to cluck.” Dignitaries and local residents will be invited to entertain the crowd with their best cluck, crow or cock-a-doodle-do.
A Fowl Food Fair will take place at the Davis Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Chicken-themed samples of omelettes, sandwiches, salads and other items from restaurants and vendors will be offered.
Several local businesses, “Community Crowers on the Green,” will be next to the market where they will showcase their activities and offer free resources and information. Crowers include Purina Animal Nutrition, Capay Organics/Farm Fresh to You, Davis Ace Garden & Pet Center and Modesto Milling, Cool Davis and the city of Davis Public Works Department, Western Feed & Pet Supply, National University, California Endive Farms, Carlton Plaza of Davis, UC Davis Dining Services and Slow Food Yolo.
Raffle tickets also will be for sale at the market; the prizes are a 350-watt e-Moto Ecco 1.5 electric bicycle donated by Ken’s Bike-Ski-Board and a Ware Premium Chick-N-Barn donated by Davis Ace. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. The drawing will be held at 1 p.m.; winners are not required to be present to win. Tour de Cluck T-shirts will also be available for purchase.
After the kickoff, stroll over to the Central Park Gardens to enjoy the live chicken exhibit and plant sale in the gardens from 9 a.m. to noon. UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will offer a free talk, “Chickens + Feed = Eggs + Manure!” from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Visitors will receive step-by-step instructions on how to compost chicken manure to benefit your garden.
And from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Robyn Waxman with FARM 2.6 is hosting “A Farm to School Stroll in the Country” at 25450 County Road 95, opposite the Yolo County Airport. Visitors are welcome to take a 30-minute tour of the farm at the beginning or the end of the Tour de Cluck coop loops.
Are you looking to increase your chicken IQ? Free “Chicken Skool” community education events are scheduled on Thursday evenings throughout May at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. Angela Cramer of Purina Mills will discuss breed selection and flock management on Thursday, May 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Drs. Maurice Pitesky and Nancy Sinai of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine will offer practical advice to keep your backyard flock in top shape on Thursday, May 29, at the same time and place.
Fowl Food Frolic
Through May 30, nine Davis restaurants will feature a signature Tour de Cluck egg- or chicken-based dish. When you order any of the special Fowl Food Frolic dishes, the restaurants will donate a portion of the proceeds to Davis Farm to School and Yolo Farm to Fork.
Look for the Tour de Cluck cardboard cutout logo of a chicken riding a penny-farthing bike in front of Seasons, The Davis Graduate, The Hotdogger, Symposium, Caffé Italia, Little Prague, Dos Coyotes at The Marketplace, Dos Coyotes at the Oakshade Town Center and Tucos Wine Market & Café.
Tour de Cluck tickets are $15 general, $10 for students and seniors and free for children 10 and under. Tickets are available online at www.tourdecluck.org and at Hibbert Lumber, 500 G St.; The Avid Reader, 617 Second St.; the Davis Food Co-op, 620 G St.; and at the Davis Farmers Market on Saturday.