CHEZ POULET is a entrepreneurial venture of my five year old niece, Mara. Her love of animals and her bright and attentive nature led us to this venture which also teaches her the value of organic gardening, caring for animals, hard work, and starting a home based business selling organic eggs. Our property is in historic Naglee Park, and is adjacent to Coyote Creek. This nearly 9,000 SF property encompasses the San Jose Landmark and National Register eligible Ernest Curtis House. This English Cotswold cottage was designed by premier Bay Area architect Ernest Curtis (Curtis and Binder), who designed many significant buildings in San Jose among them, Le Petit Trianon, the Willow Glen Theater, and the San Jose Water Company. The garden was entirely revamped to reflect an English garden, retaining all the historic trees, among them American Elms, black walnut, cottonwoods, and many others. The chicken coop was added a few years ago and is nestled among shade trees overlooking Coyote Creek, and expanded recently. The plant palette is diverse, incorporating herbs, roses, fruit and nut trees, butterfly and bee friendly plants. All food, plants and herbs in this garden is shared with wildlife and our domestic animals. Mara also loves to cook and we are starting our first home canning season. Our goal is to incorporate more vegetable growing areas, fruit trees, and berry vines next year and eventually a bee hive. Mara feeds the chicken, cleans the coop and manages all sales. My investment in her venture is a no interest micro-loan amortized over 10 years.
Six chickens were “re-homed” from a neighbor who left the area and we added four new girls to their community. Their school house coop and yard area make for a comfortable living space. Hens are well cared for and receive high grade organic food- porridge and oatmeal, plain yogurt, fruits and vegetables, and other assorted treats in addition to their pellets. Hens are allowed to roam free under our supervision but return to their enclosure for safety from predators (we have hawks and raccoons). A second hen house near the storage shed will serve as their “retirement home” when egg laying decreases. The main egg laying enclosure is fitting with a weather proof metal roof, and trimmed out with “egg and dart” moulding to give them an attractive and elegant residence. Mara’s organic eggs will be sold to local customers within biking distance or for pick up.
In honor of the SV Tour de Coop, Mara and I will be serving visitors sweet and savory breads made from our fresh eggs, home grown herbs, fruits and nuts, and homemade jam. Come join us!