Williams-Sonoma's new Agrarian line of products (ranging from seeds to gardening tools to beekeeping supplies to this adorable chicken tractor) has been met with quite a bit of controversy. And bloggers are making their opinions known.
It seems Williams-Sonoma is getting in on the self-sufficiency/local food production craze. And who can blame them? Urban farming is a growing trend. And, many of the folks who are interested in "getting back to the earth" may feel less than comfortable perusing the local co-op or farm store but know precisely how to shop high-end products online.
Now, the coop and run pictured above will run the consumer about $1400 all told. That price definitely includes form as well as function. I mean, it is adorable. I've read bloggers who've criticized the good looks of this coop as unnecessary and over-the-top, but I'm not about to jump on that bandwagon. I've personally cringed at the sight of another blogger's make-shift chicken coop, complete with old refrigerator door as a roof. I admit that I like the look of our cute little red and white chicken tractor. Now, we paid only a fraction of the cost of the one pictured above, but this is just to say that I do think there's a place for form as well as function around the farm/backyard.
So, what's this blogger's opinion of the new Agrarian line? Ultimately, the more people who are producing some of their own food, the better. As Barbara Kingsolver put it in an essay I read just today, "Even if you walk or bike to the store, if you come home with bananas from Ecuador, tomatoes from Holland, cheese from France, and artichokes from California, you have guzzled some serious gas." Honestly, I take the development of this new line of products from William-Sonoma as a good sign. I'm sure they've done their market research and wouldn't have bothered launching the line unless they had evidence that people would actually buy it. That seems like good proof that a growing population of people are developing and acting on an interest in backyard production. So, if you're willing to pay $65 for a watering can, I may not agree that it's the best use of your money, but I'm pleased as punch that you've got something growing in your backyard that needs watering. It seems like a move in the right direction.