Urban Neighbors Love That He Raises Chickens, Goats Next Door

CHICAGO, IL (April 30, 2015) — Eric Staswick, the North Park University alum who photographed two recent covers for the Covenant Companion, was featured Wednesday night in a public television report on his urban farm that includes chickens, ducks, goats, and bees in addition to vegetables.

The five-minute report on WTTW is part of a longer piece on the growth of urban farming.

Bethany Staswick, a 2010 graduate of North Park, said she and her husband initially planned to only grow vegetables, but those plans expanded, beginning with the chickens that provide the family with six dozen eggs each week. Eventually they wound up raising five Nigerian dwarf goats.

Eric, who graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in business and economics, said operating the urban farm is worth the large expense of money and time because, in addition to providing food, the endeavor is educational for his children and forces the family to slow down.

Kids often stop by on their way to and from school to look at the goats. As for how their immediate neighbors feel, “We appease them with eggs,” Bethany said laughing. “They think it’s fun.”

Eric joked, “For April Fool’s Day, (we might) be trucking a cow in and just sticking it in the yard for the neighbors.”

Eric also made his own video about the farm.

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About the Author

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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