The Egg Map: How to Accelerate Local Food Abundance

Here’s something I found incredibly useful as a way to improve a community’s resilience:  an Egg Map.

Take a look at this map of egg producers, from the innovators at Incredible Edible Todmorden UK.

Every point on the map is a home, farm or business that has a chicken coop.   Many of them got started with chicken keeping through the Todmorden “Every Egg Matters” campaign.

Given how productive chickens can be, it’s not that hard to overproduce.  So, a good portion of these locations produce MORE eggs than they need.

Further, the campaign increased the awareness of people in the town to the benefits of fresh, locally produced eggs — from the radically better taste, particularly if eaten within 48 hours of being laid, to the claim (mostly unproven, although I suspect it is highly dependent on the type of chicken and what you feed them) that they are much better for you than the factory fresh eggs bought in a store.

Most of the locations on the map include details about how many eggs they have available for sale and contact info (phone/text) for how to reach them.

As you can see, this map provides:

  • A method by which you can keep a community effort/campaign alive.  The map documents it, charts its progress, and keeps it alive after the campaign slows/ends.
  • A way to connect the community — you can now connect with neighbors to buy food and/or get advice on how to run your own coop.
  • Provides an extra source of income for coop owners.  Income that can eliminate the costs associated with the coop and come in handy in a pinch.  Further, by replacing egg imports, it keeps wealth inside the community, where it can do the most good.

Making maps like this may be something you want to do for your community.

If you want to use Google maps, here’s some simple instructions for building your own map (including a video).

If Google or the Internet becomes unavailable for short periods of time, you may want to opt for open source map tools that you can run on a PC connected to a wireless community network.


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  • Scott Supak

    So, I need to design a chicken coop where it’s really easy to scrape their droppings right off into the compost pile, which I can install a heat exchanger in, and then keep the chicken coop warm in the winter!

    • Ellen in Conn

      Chicken poop: put a line of 5-gallon buckets under their roost, and some large-hole fencing over it to keep them out. Cleanup is super-easy – carry the buckets out! My chickens survive winters in their very drafty house just fine. It gets down to 10°F here sometimes. SO they snuggle up close. They do need a light from about 2am on to keep laying. Evening light confuses them – it’s dark outside so they go in, but it’s light inside so they go out!!

      • John Robb

        Thanks Ellen. Would love to see a picture of that set-up. JR

  • Burgundy

    I remember Todmorden from my youth. A gritty Northern mill town, languishing in a damp Pennine valley where the sun rarely shines, left for dead after the Industrial Revolution went global and blighted by its after effects. Dense urban housing originally built by the mill owners to house the mill workers, now part of the large densely populated urban conurbation centred around the city of Manchester. It’s neighbour Hebden Bridge has been suffering from Climate Change with two severe flash floods in as many weeks just recently. Not a place you’d think of as resilient community, which just goes to show that they can be created anywhere, based on need.

    • John Robb

      Burgundy, Thanks much for that. JR

    • Marcus Wynne

      I second that emotion. “Wherever two or more are gathered…” That’s all it takes to start and maintain a resilient community. A couple of people and intention. I’ve driven over 8000 miles in the last month and visited dozens of resilient communities, which range from true “off the grid” artisans crafting guns and tending gardens and goats, (guns, gardens, goats!); to households in the middle of Bay Area sprawl with chickens, gardens, and water supplies.

      Intentional community. Resilience. More on key points later on…

      • John Robb

        Thanks Marcus. That’s exactly right. If a small group can establish trust, nearly anything is possible. JR

  • Sharleen

    Hi! My husband and I created about 18 months ago; initially it was a tool just for us, we now have over 2000 registered users across the country and a couple in Canada as well! Learn more @