Blog Party for Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom

The last time I reviewed Jessi Bloom’s new book, I focused on the text. Let me tell you, even with only three chickens, I needed the advice, and I could not wait for this book to come out.

But in my eagerness to absorb everything that Jessi knows about gardening with chickens, I may have neglected to properly rave about the other awesome element in the book: the photographs.

The pictures are so charming that if I didn’t already have my own flock, I would have been rushing out to the feed store to place a new order for a lovely variety of hens. I mean, look at this:

photo courtesy Jessi Bloom (4)

Those proud beaks, and their fluffy little behinds! I love the tiny gray one halfway hidden in the foliage – she looks like a miniature roadrunner to me. So cute!

For me, the photos enhanced the text by making gardening with chickens seem not only accessible but chic. Sometimes, all the poop on the patio gets me down, but the reassuring photographs (with, yes, the occasional pile of manure in the shot) make me actually believe Jessi that having both a lovely garden and lovely birds is not only possible but fun as well.

photo courtesy Jessi Bloom photo courtesy Jessi Bloom (3)

The photos shown here are a selection of pictures that didn’t even make the cut for the book, so you know the book itself is a beaut.

Want to win your own copy? We’re having a bit of a blog party to celebrate the book, so Timber Press has offered up a fresh new copy of the book to one lucky reader. But a one-book giveaway wouldn’t quite constitute a party in my view, so Storey has also offered up a copy of their brand new Fresh Egg Cookbook by Jennifer Trainer Thompson!

Just leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner at random on April 12th (US only). And if you really want a win (you know you do), head on over to  these blogs for another chance:

Jessi at

Erica at

Theresa at

Angela at

Annette at

Kylee at

Willi at

Debbie is our winner! Congrats, Debbie! I have emailed you about your prizes.

All photos copyright Jessi Bloom.

84 responses to “Blog Party for Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom”

  1. I would love to win these books. I need lots of info on keeping my garden and my chickens happy.

  2. Thanks for the giveaway. We’re planning on getting chickens soon – and I need all the help I can get!

  3. I have chickens, and I have gardens. Unfortunately, mine do not look like these gorgeous photos. If you stopped by, you’d mostly see chicken manure on my front steps, ducks smashing my flowers, and the hens destroying the lettuce. I think I NEED this book!

  4. We spent the past year living off-the-grid in an intentional community and lived directly in front of a chicken coup. Even though my grandfather and other relatives had chickens and dairy farms when I was a little kid I didn’t learn a thing, except knowing what real food tasted like. So living directly across from these chickens for a year was quite interesting. The thing that struck me most was how differently the breeds behaved.
    One breed struck me as the kind I would like to get next spring, Golden Laced Wyandotte. What I enjoyed most about them is they look like dinosaurs (the most prehistoric chickens I’ve seen) and their behavior I found to be smarter than the Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, and another breed that I can’t recall at the moment. Some of the other qualities I liked of the Golden Laced Wyandotte were that they just looked sturdier (less fragile in a way) and better able to defend themselves if need be, roost in trees, seemed more curious about things than the other breeds, and they would fly over the 6′ high fencing to scout other areas for food and go back into the penned area without being heard or seen (it took months before anyone was able to figure out how they were getting over the fence to get out and then back in).
    I feel quite confident that this is the breed I would like to start off with next spring.

  5. Thanks for your great review! Sounds wonderful. Count me in.
    (P.S. The NYTimes did an article yesterday on home chicken-keeping and fresh eggs and mentioned The Fresh Egg Cookbook, too!)

  6. Ohhhhh! I am so excited to dream and scheme about fresh raised eggs! Would LOVE to read more and LOVE the photos you posted!

  7. I had to join in this virtual chicken party! I’m going to have chickens one day and until then I need all the help and advice I can get. This book sounds like the perfect place to start!

  8. As a chicken owner (and lover!) I would love to have a copy of either of these books! Love your blog, by the way. 🙂

  9. I would LOVE to win these books! Both titles would be valuable resources in my library. Thank you for the opportunity!

  10. Building my coop for chicken version 3.0 now — hoping to free-range them more than in the past; this book would be handy! (And the photos? WOW.)

  11. Dare I enter another of your give-aways? You know I’d love these books!

    Hold on – you’re saying and can stack the odds and enter at those other sites as well? Off I go then….

  12. Thanks for the info. We just got 4 Dominique chicks for the first time. I can’t wait to see them eat all the little bugs around garden.

  13. This book would be a great addition to my garden book collection and because Im trying to convince my significant other that we must have chickens, this would help plead my case that gardens and chickens can live in peace.

  14. I have eight hens and they love to roam free but I don’t let them out too often for fear of them destroying my garden. It would be great to read Jessi’s book, I know my chickens will be thankful!

  15. Raising chickens for the first time since I was a girl on the farm… I’m a girl in the city! lol A little nervous to do it on my own but, the books would be a great place to start!

  16. I would love to win this. I’m really excited about getting started with chickens.

  17. I would love to win either book. I do agree that Jesse’s book has amazing and inspiring pictures of the possibilities. I am now lusting for bantams. 🙂

  18. I love my five chooks…but my husband is frustrated with them in his vegie patch!

  19. You’re right. The photos are beautiful. I’m not sure my hens are quite as photogenic. I KNOW my garden isn’t. Perhaps this book would help.

  20. So glad to hear about this book! I would love to have a few chickens running around my garden but always wondered if they would shred everything and make a dirt patch out of the garden. The photos you’ve got posted make it look completely doable!

  21. When I was a senior in high school, we all had to take one of those tests that tells you what you should be when you grow up. It told me “chicken farmer.” My friends laughed at me. I was so embarrassed. Although I’m not a chicken farmer, the thought has always been in the back of my mind. And now raising chickens is cool!

  22. Ooooo! Pictures! Oh dear, I haven’t even acquired chickens yet and I’m already wanting more..

  23. Need help teaching my chickens to co-exist with my garden! Thanks for the chance.

  24. Would love to have a chance to win one of these books, great blog by the way, tried to sign up to follow, but something went wrong with my aol sign on so I will try again tomorrow. They said they locked my account? So have to check into that. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  25. I would love to win these books. We are hoping to overturn the ban we have in our city this year, and when we do I will be getting chickens right away!

  26. I would love to have chickens. Soon, I hope 🙂 I’m still in the planning stage and my city just recently passed an ordinance allowing chickens. Thanks for the opportunity.

  27. I would love to raise raise chickens in my garden but (this is true) my husband is chicken to initiate such in suburbia……..sigh

  28. I would love to win these books! I grew up with chickens and can’t wait to get some of my own the next year or two when I can get on a farm (no chickens in the allowed in my suburbs).

  29. Love this blog. Trying to start my own chicken garden, so I need all the advice I can get. Thanks again!

  30. That would be awesome to have a Book like this. Looks great. Plan to have chickens one day.

  31. I owned chickens for the first time last year, but had my entire flock of 18 wiped out over the course of 10 months by raccoon’s, foxes, and a hawk. That number also included 3 brand new chicks that one of my chickens had just hatched. I was devastated, but have decided to try again, as soon as me and my husband finish building our new bigger, and stronger chicken coop. These books would be great, since I am also planting a garden for the first time this year. Thanks!

  32. Oh I want these books! We are so anxious for chickens, we’ve been reading everything we can and studying up.

  33. Ohmygoodness. My dream garden is what I see in the pictures. A cobble stone pathway surrounded by greens and lovely chickens roaming. I can only dream!

  34. Man, some years my chickens get more out of the garden than I do! I need this book, so thanks a lot for the chance to win.

  35. I’m very Type A and have been looking for a good backyard chicken book before I jump in and get a flock! What a great giveaway!

  36. I’ve got 7 hens currently laying and 6 babies in the brooder right now I have a big garden too. I would LOVE these books!! Please please pick me!!

  37. Wow, those photographs are amazing! This book will be sure to give garden design inspiration as well as garden/chicken management information. Can’t wait to give it a read. Thanks!

  38. The little white chicken in the next to last picture looks like my cockatoo! I wish it was part of the prize too. I would run and tell my husband the cockatoo got out and was running with the chickens and see how long it took him to figure it out…lol. I really hope I win these because I just got my chickens a week and a half ago and am putting in gardens now. It would be great to have some guidance.

  39. I LOVE all my 16 chickens, my kids and I can’t stop picking out new baby chicks every time we go to FHA. We started with 4, and now they have taken over the yard! We have a summer and winter home (the green house) for them and the only place they are not allowed is the deck (I have to have a poop free zone). I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my yard to beautiful and chicken friendly. A CHICKEN WONDERLAND of Happiness.

  40. Hope to someday have chickens that lay ‘mild’ tasting eggs. Hopefully this book will point me in the right direction??

  41. These books sound fabulous & just in time. We have had our girls 1 year & would love some ideas on how to plant our yard with new things. We have applied to be on the Seattle Tilth Chicken Coop Tour this July so the timing is perfect! The girls have all started laying so I would love a new cook book so with new ideas .

  42. These photos are so inspiring! I grew up with backyard chickens, and I’m finally living in a house with a yard where I can have my own. I’m building my chicken coop now!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win these books…

  43. I would love to win the books! By the way, I’m so happy I was led to your blog!

  44. this looks like a lovely book. the photos are gorgeous. and i can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book. hopefully i can win a copy. thanks, ten

  45. Would love to add chickens to my garden but don’t know where to start – would love this book to help!

  46. If I win a book, I promise to go right out and get my own free-range chickens…. I’ve been wanting to do this for YEARS!! this is the best incentive EVER!!

  47. I would love to win this book! I have fond childhood memories of the chickens on my grandmother’s farm, and would love to be able to help families combine beautiful gardens with chicken fun.

  48. I love books…and I’ve been pondering chickens quite a bit lately since I’m thinking about a big yard plan and I hope it include them.

  49. the reason I should have this book
    is because I really need to look
    into the why’s and hows
    of animals smaller than cows
    with my girlfriend I’ll be off the hook

    thanks for this opportunity!

  50. As an avid gardener and landscape designer I am always looking for more ways to bring sustainability, balance, and beauty into the garden. I believe this book will bring new insights and techniques into my world. Thank you.

  51. I have 3 chicks (my first) I could use all the help I can get.I started eating free range eggs 2 years ago and can’t go back so I though I would do my own. I have a 2 ac. organic garden and 6 grandbabies to help.I’m hope to teach them good eating habits.These books would help me do it right the first time! If I win I will let you know how it is going!

  52. I would love both of these books! We are getting chickens any day now and we can’t wait! Hope our goats like them…..

  53. The hens and I have completely different landscaping ideas. It sure would be nice to get a few pointers on how we can get along in the garden.

  54. Chickens are wonderful companions! I would want a few to live in my garden and help provide chicken manure and control the pest population.

  55. I love my chickens and i love my garden but there is something that Jessi does not talk about in her book ; chickens that scratch right next to your border! You know the section of garden that meets grass. I am constantly having to push the soil back into the border. Any ideas on how to solve this problem?