335: Bill Bezuk on Urban Farming in Eugene.
Supporting local farmers with supplies and resources.
Bill opened his store the Eugene Backyard Farmer in April, 2010. There were already several traditional feed stores, yet he felt they did not understand the unique needs of the urban farmer. With that in mind, Bill created what he calls a “boutique urban farming supply store”, and has seen significant growth since opening.
The Eugene Backyard Farmer helps people convert their back yard into a more sustainable and thriving place with supplies for small scale flocks, plus gardening and pollination items as well as chicks, custom feeds, garden plants, soil amendments, and bee hives. Through his store, Bill shares knowledge and experience, and hopes to continue to be the center of the urban farming community in Eugene, Oregon.
In This Podcast:
Having several years of corporate retail on his resume, and working at a book store, Bill Bezuk was intrigued when he noticed an uptick in the interest in books on raising chickens. He took this insight, combined it with his experience, and eventually opened a “boutique urban farming supply store” in Eugene. Tailoring his store to fit the needs of local urban farmers, he has built up a dedicated customer base who have been coming for years. He tells us his story and includes a little story that Greg calls out as EPIC! Visit www.urbanfarming.org/eugenebackyardfarmer
Listen in and learn about:
- His corporate retail experience and why he decided to look at chickens
- Getting the building and restoring it
- What a new visitor will find on the site
- How he inspires people to take advantage of what they already have
- Having a couple feral cats to help with vermin control
- Catering to the urban farmer by supplying products in sizes they need
- Offering education classes but finding that the need is not as strong because so many people have chickens
- The variety of customers that they help
- One family of customers who grew up before their eyes and some special key moments
- How they are combating the challenge of rats in the area and helping educate neighbors
- The chicken hotel where they can host chickens while their owners are away
As well as:
- His failure – trying to gain critical knowledge about processing chickens through the internet and online videos
- His success – Helping gather the chicken community to petition the local city council to change and improve the regulations on urban farming (EPIC call out!)
- His drive – Food – growing, cooking, preserving, eating and sharing food!
- His advice – If you are interested in pursuing urban farm, please do it responsibly. Also, don’t be intimidated, take it in small steps.
Bill’s Book recommendations:
How to reach Bill:
This episode was sponsored by Health IQ. Visit them at healthiq.com/urbanfarm to support our show and to see if you qualify for lower insurance rates.