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Baltimore Woman Raises Organic Food In Own Backyard

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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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.

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