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home : opinion : letters to the editor
August 9, 2020

7/8/2020 3:32:00 PM
Times are changing for our community

I recently received a text from a citizen who was wondering if she could have ducks behind her house.
I replied that we have an ordinance against having fowl or waterfowl in non-agricultural areas. She told me that it was such a shame because kids these days do not know where their food actually comes from. She said this could not only be an incredible teaching experience, but the eggs would be welcome as well.
I told her about my experience with raising chickens, which I had for a year and a half before finding out there was an ordinance against it. I ended up getting rid of them, giving them to a farm lady.
People would like to be able to raise their own food and sometimes they can become pets, the woman said. I told her that sometimes there is a smell which can be taken care of by cleaning the coop and in the fall there is a fly problem which can be taken care of by fly traps.
I told her I also raised bees from 2012 to 2018 and had two hives for a year in town. At the time, I didn't know it was in violation of an ordinance.
About 80% of our food is pollinated by bees. They are docile and easy to manage and never bother anyone unless the person is flailing around trying to swat them. When that happens, the bee will sting nearly 100% of the time.
I could reach inside the hive with my bare hands and not get stung. They would crawl around my hand and leave me alone.
I once fell from a branch which broke as I was trying to get to a swarm. I am also allergic to bee stings, which means I have to go the doctor each time I get stung.
So, at 70 years of age, I felt I had lived dangerously long enough. I decided to sell everything.
During our conversation, I told the woman I also had someone call about a community garden. It is a good idea, until your neighbor steals the fruits of your labor and there are squabbles about boundaries and someone has to administer the garden.
I told her that I would bring it up at a city council meeting and see what could be done. So, if you are in favor of your neighbor having 3-4 chickens (no roosters) let the council know.
  - Rodney Byam
     Windom City Council

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