About the homeowners: Jen and Michael Gazdacko repurposed the empty lot next to their home into Barking Dog Farm, a working farm with vegetables, bees and chickens. They live in the Armory district with their two dogs and two cats.
1. That’s the chicken coop. We were originally going to do chicks, but we adopted a friend’s flock of six grown, laying chickens instead: Scituate, the Rhode Island Red; Pot Pie; Kentucky; Jailbird; Big Mama and Little Mama. We probably get three to five eggs a day.
2. We’ve got about 30,000 bees in two hives behind these plants. We installed them in the spring. We’ve always wanted bees, so we went to bee school to learn how to care for them. It’s really good for our neighbors who have gardens, because they pollinate. We get a lot of credit for any bees on the West Side I think the gardens are doing better this year because of them.
3. We’ve got a whole Thai garden – hot peppers, lemongrass, Thai basil – behind these tomato plants. We were inspired by our honeymoon last year in Thailand, and we love Thai food.
4. For vegetables, there’s lettuce, eggplant, chick peas, snap peas, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, carrots, squash and zucchini, tomatoes and husk cherries. We’ve got a lot to give away, but we try to use as much as we can. During the week, the chickens only need 15 minutes a day. The bees are maybe 30 minutes on the weekend. The garden needs about three hours a week. There’s a lot more in the prep, but there’s really not that much maintenance.
5. We call it Barking Dog Farm, but Sophia isn’t the barking dog. She’s the quiet one. Teddy, a silky terrier, is the barking one. Sophia is a four month old yellow lab.