By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A growing number of people want to know exactly where their food comes from. Not the store’s name, but the farmer’s. Now, as Mike Schuh reports, one Baltimore woman is, in a small way, taking that idea one step further.

Quick. Think of Hampden. Blue collar turned into funky town. Now filled with new neighbors, interesting people on every corner. But farm or farmer probably never entered your mind.

At Amy Langrehr’s farmhouse, she drinks organic coffee and buys local organic milk—and raises organic chickens.

“I cook a lot,” Langrehr said. “I bake a lot. I go to the farmer’s market. I write a food blog. I’m into all this food stuff. A farmer friend said she had some chicks, do I want some, and I took them home.”

Langrehr’s farmhouse is located in a backyard in Hampden. It’s one of a handful of chicken coops permitted so far by the city.

Raising chickens in Baltimore City?

“I know I’m crazy,” Langrehr said with a laugh. “I’ve wanted to do this for years and this seemed like the right time.”

She thinks Gertie, Clara, Dottie, and Millie are all hens. But she’ll know for sure soon enough “We’re not going to eat the chickens, were going to eat the eggs and share them with friends and family,” Langrehr said.

They have stores for eggs now, why must she have a chicken?

“Well, it’s so much fresher, yolk sits up, bake/ taste difference, it’s amazing,” Langrehr said. ““I like to have as local as possible food in my house, and this is as local as it gets.”

Local, lovely and legal.

It seems the only difficult part about raising chickens in the city is catching them.

Langrehr says those hens will produce three or four eggs a week beginning in September. There are around a dozen legal chicken coops in the city, but as many as a couple of hundred un-registered ones.

Comments (10)
  1. JackDaniels says:


  2. Adam says:

    Leave it to the hipsters

  3. Kimberly Blackwell says:

    no actually i think youd be leaving it up to the hillbilly rednecks….lol oh so u can run around w/illegal handguns and get a smack on ur wrist but u cant have un registered chicken coops…..WATEVER!!!…….i think thats a good idea i raise my chickens roosters ducks out side cat and dogs in my back yard!!!

  4. rose41054 says:

    where does she think STORE BOUGHT eggs come from ?? lollllllllll

  5. Amy says:

    This is no surprise to me. Hampden is not full of only rednecks and hilbillies or hipsters. It is now a blend of people from different backgrounds who want safe, healthy food for themselves and their families. Most of my neighbors have veggie gardens. I grow peaches, blueberries, raspberries, and kiwis in addition to veggies and medicinal herbs. I have also seen a boom in composting. I use compost exclusively for fertilizing, homemade insecticidal soap or horticultural oil in the rare instances that I need them. I designed my garden to be a self sustaining ecosystem. I have a small pond that attracts birds, garter snakes, frogs and toads as well as beneficial insects like prayingmantis and ladybugs. They eat pests such as slugs and aphids so I don’t really need chemicals. My nest project is to build a bat box to attract bats to my yard. Bats eat thousands of mosquitos a day.

  6. Joe Hollingshead says:


    You have obviously never tasted a fresh egg. There really IS a difference between something that has been on the shelf for days at a store and the one from the coup.

    Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

  7. Realtor Anne says:

    Way to go, Amy!

  8. charmcitycook says:

    i’m way too old to be a hipster and too young to be a hippie…

    i eat eggs almost everyday…so i thought i’d do this. other friends of mine in the county have kept chickens for years. if you have any interest in following the chickens’ progress, check out charmcitycook on facebook and blogger. planning on doing a photoshoot and taste testing of the eggs vs store bought and farmers market eggs. should be fun! i can’t wait to share the eggs with my friends and family. it’s been a great adventure so far…

  9. mojo says:

    What’s with the accusations of hipsterism and hillbillyism? She’s just raising a few chickens! Follow your dream, Amy!

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