New children’s book “Chicks and the City” sheds light on urban farming

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – A new children’s picture book by author Matt Browning celebrates the many ways farming can take place within city limits.

“Chicks and the City” is a kid-friendly exploration of urban agriculture published this month by Headline Books. Browning will sign copies of the book at the Café Appalachia Artisan Market in South Charleston Saturday, August 29, from 8 a.m. to noon.

“The concept of urban agriculture has grown exponentially in recent years as people in cities and towns have become increasingly interested in growing their own food,” said Browning. “You don’t have to live on a large farm with acres of land to be a successful small-scale farmer, and this book illustrates examples of how to do that for young people.”

In the book, Chicken Stu, a typical barnyard bird, watches the city from atop a silo and longs to visit. He makes his way there and discovers the many ways farming happens in downtown areas, like urban orchards, community gardens, farmer’s markets,and chicken coops.

The idea stemmed from the rise in urban farming Browning was seeing in West Virginia cities like Charleston and Huntington. Browning was one of the original planners of the West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference, which launched in 2014 and is hosted annually by West Virginia State University Extension Service.

“Chicks and the City” is published by Headline Books and is illustrated by Ashley Teets Belote. The book retails for $16.95. To learn more and order copies, visit

Café Appalachia is located at 206 D Street in South Charleston. The Artisan Market is an outdoor event, dependent upon weather.

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