Tour D'Coop highlights Raleigh's growing urban-farming trend

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Having a chicken coop or bee hive in your backyard is a growing trend in Raleigh.

It's part of the "urban farming" movement and the "Tour D'Coop" wants to give you a chance to check it out with proceeds from ticket sales going to help Raleigh Urban Ministries.

There are more backyard urban farms in Raleigh than you might imagine. And you can go see for yourself.

"I have 14 hens, a rooster, a turkey, some fish over there, some beehives, back there, a fainting goat, a potbelly pig," said Coop volunteer Heather Eberhardt.

This is not Old McDonald's farm - we're in Eberhardt's backyard. The tour is meant to raise appreciation for sustainable food culture.

"People most often think of chickens as food, and I think that until you see them and the habitats where they are really happy, and they got to move around and they have to just live their lives, I think it gives people totally different perspective," said volunteer Justin Miller.

The Tour raises awareness, but also gives back to the community.

"Urban Ministries ties in really nicely with our mission of local sustainable food that is the focus that they have for their clients through their food bank," said M'Liss Koopman, chairperson of the Tour D'Coop.

The tour includes more than 21 sites and there's much more than chicken coops.

It's all organized by volunteers who've opened their coops, pens and hives to the public. It has attracted hundreds in Wake County for more than a decade, but despite all the buzz, for Eberhardt, her urban farm is about a returning to a simpler time.

"When we had our son, we felt like we needed to do something to slow down time a little bit," she said. "I felt like kids are always on electronics, and I want to have something outside, some appreciation for nature and wildlife."

The aptly-named Koopman added: What this event tells me about Raleigh and its culture is that there are people that are open to new ideas and new things.

The tours are this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 per person, $20 for groups. Tickets the day of are $12 for individuals and $25 for groups.

Click here to get tickets to the Tour D'Coop Raleigh Chicken Tour.

You can also get tickets at Seaboard Ace Hardware, and Whole Foods in Raleigh and Cary.

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