Many of you may know that Petaluma, California was once the “World’s Egg Basket.” More eggs were produced here than anywhere else between 1890 and 1970 or so. The egg incubator was invented in Petaluma and the temperate weather and soil provided ideal conditions for raising large flocks. It was also inexpensive to start a farm. For about $3,000 in the early 1900’s you could have acreage, a house, a hen house, a horse and wagon, and of course, chickens.
Rancho Obi-Wan was once one of these small egg farms owned by the Fishman family. At it’s peak in the 1920’s it had three enormous hen houses and 20,000 chickens. And the neighbors across the street had 20,000 chickens and the neighbors down the street had 20,000 chickens and… that’s a lot of chickens. The Great Depression caused many of these small businesses to close. But the final blow to the family farm was technology. Chickens scratching in the dirt for bugs and seeds gave way to machines and cages and conveyor belts.
The 20,000 chickens have been replaced by 300,000+ pieces of Star Wars memorabilia at Rancho Obi-Wan, but we manage a small flock of backyard chickens to show visitors. Last week we brought in five new adolescent hens. We’ve named four of the gals and now we want suggestions from the Star Wars community to name the fifth. We will pick our favorite name at Noon Pacific time on Friday and send a Rancho Obi-Wan T-shirt to the winner! Please post your suggestions on our Facebook page and have fun!