For a romantic take on America’s agricultural heritage, we featured Moskow Linn Architect’s Studio North creation Il Tempietto di Pollo, an architecturally forward approach to housing hens, in our May/June, 2012, issue. Its creators, Keith Moskow and Robert Linn, see it as a prototype for everyday backyard chicken coops, a concept gaining steam as the locavore movement picks up devotees. Certainly, the concept of farming on a small scale, at home, is an attractive idea. Enter design minds like Moskow Linn’s and the folks at Williams-Sonoma’s and it can be a stylish reality.
W-S’s new farm-inspired line, Agrarian, offers the Alexandria Chicken Coop & Run and the Briar Chicken Coop & Run that would fit nicely in most any suburban setting. Farm-fresh eggs collected, the gentle farmer may next want to head to the beehive for some pure raw honey. That is what artist Gay Gillies (House as Art, May June, 2012) does when she tends her hives in southeastern Massachusetts, where her family summers. Her fascination with the species has evolved into a series of paintings depicting the plight of the bee population as their colonies are inexplicably collapsing.
Whether your interest is biology or just sweet natural honey, W-S offers a compact starter kit that includes the hive, tools for cultivating honey — and most importantly sting-proof gloves and a helmet with polyester/nylon veil and built-in sweatband!
However, since we prefer to shop locally for such goods, it was the exquisite collection of garden tools crafted by Austrian coppersmiths (above) that had us intrigued. In addition to their visual appeal (they can also be monogramed), they enrich the soil with tiny copper deposits that promote water absorption. Now that is gardening glam with a practical side.