Backyard Livestock

How down on the farm came to mean an empty lot in Berkeley

    Photo: Mark Richards; ML Harris/Getty; Sarah Lee/Redux; IStockPhoto; Picture Collection, The New York Public Library; Geoff Brightling/Getty

7th Century: Medieval farmers invent the cattle brand. a.

1932: The Underground Cattle Passage is built beneath West 38th Street in New York City to increase the flow to slaughterhouses. b.

1960s: The majority of city slaughterhouses in Manhattan close. Many cities ban backyard hens.

2004: A group in Madison, Wisconsin, forms the Poultry Underground to overturn a ban on domestic birds. The revival is on. c.

2006: Michael Pollan publishes The Omnivore's Dilemma. d.

2007: The New Oxford American Dictionary designates locavore word of the year. e.

2009: Oakland resident Novella Carpenter's Farm City is published. In the next year, sales of chicken feed in the city double. f.

2009: Entrepreneur John Hantz pledges $30 million to a complex of urban farms housed in Detroit's abandoned plots.

2010: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene rescinds a long-standing ban on honeybees.

March 2011: Oakland shuts down Novella Carpenter's farm for selling produce without a permit. g.

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