Meet Duncan Martin, The Guy Who Can Set You Up With Fresh Eggs Every Morning

January 25, 2011.

Duncan Martin moved to Vancouver from Vermont in 2003 to go to UBC.  Though he hasn’t stopped calling New England home (and fears he’s growing softer with every Pacific winter), he has embraced the beauty, vibrancy and diversity that our city has to offer.  After an English degree and some years of teaching, he began drawing on other interests such as design, building, agriculture and art to form the fledgling chicken coop business that he now runs at  It is a work in progress that thrives on educating, connecting, celebrating, and most of all, getting people started with a flock of healthy, happy, and productive egg-laying hens.  When he’s not building coops, Duncan is either baking bread, mushroom hunting, tinkering, or out and about with family and friends.

Something about chickens that most people don’t know: They can catch mice.

Most unusual place you have seen a food producing garden: On the burial ground of my old neighbour’s attack dog, Buddy.

Under what circumstances would you join the army: If I lived in Switzerland.

Favourite Vancouver bridge: Footbridge over the tracks in Strathcona.

Most beautiful body of water you have ever seen: Gillette Pond, Jonesville VT.

The scariest situation you’ve ever been in: A biker gang caught me sneaking onto their property for a James Brown concert.

Three things about your neighbourhood (2nd and Lakewood) that make you want to live there: 1. Everywhere is downhill from here 2. I have everything I need on Commercial Drive 3. I can talk to my neighbours.

Describe your favourite photograph: The cover of Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”.  A red cap hanging out of his back jean pocket.

Community event or festival that you look forward to every year: Tunbridge Worlds Fair in Tunbridge, VT.

Last art show that really blew you away: Monkey 100 at the Culture Crawl.

Best Vancouver beach: Iona: there’s treasure everywhere.

One thing you’d like to change about Vancouver: Remove black trim on houses, and no more beige paint.

Cheap place for dinner: Hawkers on Main

Book you’re reading: The Timeless Way of Building [by Christopher Alexander].

Last place traveled: Kamloops!

Favourite season: Fall.

Your ancestry: Russian, Scottish, Irish

Your paternal grandfather’s personal story: Born on a farm in Vermont, hung out on a boat in the Mediterranean for WWII, fathered 4 boys. Sold Electrolux Vaccuums door-to-door, became the Rutland jailer and county warden, played John Hartford tunes, loved my Cookie Monster, died when I was 3.

How did your connection to chickens begin: An old farmer named George Safford jogged past my house when I was a baby and asked my parents if they had ever considered getting chickens.  We had chickens within a few months and George remained a great friend, supplying the town with endless food for years and never charging a cent.  He was a mystery and I miss him.

Food your mom makes better than anyone: Rhubarb custard pie.

Talent you wish you possessed: I wish I could roll my Rs.

The trend you wish you never followed, but did: Consumer electronics.

Musical instrument you long to play: chromatic harmonica.

Sport you gave up: Soccer – I was cut from the freshman team in high school, so it gave me up.

What is it about your job that gets you in to work everyday: The eggs.

The game you’re best at: SET.

Three things of no value that you will keep until you die: my flat iron, my toques, my penguin orgy mug.

Local person you admire most: Mark Forsythe [who].

Best concert experience ever: Probably the Boss at GM Place.

Describe your favourite meal: Pancakes and maple syrup

Favourite park: Victoria Park.

The dish you’re proud of: My grapeskin sourdough.

The thing that makes you the most nervous: Money.

Town you were born in: Burlington VT.

Old television shows you can tolerate re-runs of: M*A*S*H, Seinfeld.

First memory: Lying on the floor.

What are you listening to as you answer these questions: Jenna Chow’s Traffic Report.

Album that first made you love music: Van Morrison: Hymns to the Silence [listen]

Best garage sale find: The free bike that got me through 1st year university.

The career path you considered but never followed: Cartoonist – it’s not too late.

Three words that best describe your garden: Reasonably in order.

The first three things you do every morning: crack eggs, add milk, add flour.

Luckiest moment of your life: I met Georgia Stanley (mostly luck).

Favourite book as a child: Go Dog Go.

Biggest hope: Canadian citizenship!

Thanks Duncan. If you need a reference, call us!



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