The green-themed hardware store hosts its soft opening on Earth Day • A Peep at the Coops showcases the backyard chicken craze
April 21, 2013
After months of anticipation from local greenies, Gecko Hardware, an eco-friendly version of the neighborhood home improvement store, launched on Earth Day in Dallas. Owners Andrea Ridout, the environmentally minded Dallas radio host of Ask Andrea on 1190 AM, and her partners Jennifer Stuart and Zach Montgomery, say they are hoping to answer a growing demand for eco-friendly home improvement products.
Anchored in the Lake Highlands neighborhood, the 15,000-square-foot venue will carry many conventional items as a True Value partner. In addition, the store will be stocked with green alternatives and home products for sustainable living such as composters, solar panels, organic gardening products and rain barrels.
According to Ridout, on opening week, most of the True Value items will be in place but they are still stocking the “oddball” items, she said.
“We’ll have 95 percent of the conventional items up and about half of the cool stuff,” she said.
All will be in place by their grand opening May 17-19. During the three-day kick-off next month, shoppers can partake of demonstrations and workshops. Organic gardening guru Howard Garrett will also be hand for the christening.
Ridout said they’ve gotten lots of advice from friends and colleagues about how to set up their pioneering enterprise.
“Everything we’re trying is experimental,” said Ridout. “There’s never been a store like this.”
Photos: Courtesy of Gecko Hardware.
For many city slickers who’ve mastered organic gardening, the next step is rounding up some chickens for fresh eggs. If you’ve been considering hen husbandry or just want to take a gander at a setup, you can stop by the fourth annual east Dallas chicken coop tour May 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. During “A Peep at the Coops,” event-goers can tour 13 backyard coops, including one at a restaurant and another at a local market. The event supports Stonewall Gardens, the 20,000-square-foot outdoor classroom at Stonewall Jackson Elementary.
According to Melanie O’Neill, spokesperson for the tour, coop owners will be on hand to answer all of your brooding questions.
“This is an awesome way to meet people who are already doing it,” she said.
O’Neill said she’s hooked on backyard chickens and has kept them on and off for 15 years. She says chickens all have different personalities and make lovable pets.
“They scratch, they chase bugs. It’s hilarious to watch them,” she said. “They come running when they see me.”
O’Neill said they are expecting a good turnout. She said she hung out with a friend on one tour and they clicked in 1,200 people through the backyard.
Maps can be purchased for $5 at Stonewall Gardens, located at Matilda and Mockingbird, and can be shared. There will be speakers and a raffle for a mobile chicken coop. See A Peep at the Coops.
Photos: Courtesy of A Peep at the Coops and Stonewall Gardens.
Julie Thibodeaux covers environmental issues, green topics and sustainable living for Green Source DFW. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Send your green bulletin items to Julie@greensourcedfw.org. Follow us on Facebook.