Photos

Don Grace, owner of Grace Brothers Nursery along with his brother Kevin, is leading the local movement to encourage sustainable living by selling baby chicks at the North Royalton location.


Chicks are Hot!

Article

Published: 03/12/2013

by Patricia Nugent

Our feathered friends are heralding the season in triumphant style. Just last week the buzzards touched back down in Hinckley for a nice warm stay.

 

And they aren’t the only birds in town. Adorable little puffballs of baby chicks are back at Grace Brothers Nursery in North Royalton.

 

“This is the third year we’ve sold chicks and the demand keeps growing,” says Don Grace, who runs the Nursery he founded with brother, Kevin, in 1989. “It’s all part of the organic food movement. People want to know where their food is coming from. And once people eat a farm-fresh egg, they are hooked.”

 

Both armed with degrees in horticulture from The Ohio State University, the Graces are fervent believers in urban sustainable living. Selling chicks is part of that mission.

 

Don and Kevin enjoy teaching people how to raise chicks in their own backyards through classes and seminars. They have also put together getting-started packages ranging from the Coop D’Ville that includes the nest box and accommodates three chicks, up to the Hen Plaza with all the accommodations to house 12-15 chickens.

 

These productive cuties are delivered on “Chick Tuesdays.” The next deliveries are scheduled for April 9 and 30, and May 14 and 21, although chicks are generally available whenever the store is open.

 

“Chicks make great pets, too,” says Don. “They are social animals, love people, and remember the person who feeds them. Chicks stick together, protect each other and mourn the loss of a loved one.”

 

Don estimates they sell about 1,000 chicks a year, ranging from Rhode Island Reds to Barred Plymouth Rocks and Black Australorps. “People can buy them from two days old up to 25 weeks old,” says Don. “It takes a hen about 20 weeks to be ready to lay eggs, and after that she’ll lay about one egg each day.”

 

In addition to the chicks, Grace Brothers, in North Royalton, are also bringing in ducklings and baby turkeys for sale starting this month. Spread over six acres, the nursery offers shrubs, trees, perennials and annuals, herb and vegetable plants, stone and anything else you would need to make your landscaping beautiful.

 

In spring 2012, the brothers expanded their operation to include a Farm, Garden and Pet division in the Gordon Square Arts District on West 65th Street in Cleveland. In addition to finding many types of feed and seed for birds, pets and wildlife, the Cleveland location also caters to those interested in creating their own urban gardens for sustainable living.

 

The retail sections of both locations are stocked with farm fresh eggs and the brothers’ own line of canned produce, including baby beets, pickled eggs, pickles, mustards, jams and salsas.

 

As leading locavores in the area, this year Don and Kevin are introducing the CSA Community Supported Agriculture program. People take part by paying for a 14-week growing season. Each week they can take home their share of the harvest from herbs to fruits, vegetables and fresh eggs. There are a limited number of shares sold, so now is the perfect time to reserve your place. Harvesting begins in June.

 

Grace Brothers Nursery is located at 12905 Ridge Road in North Royalton. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9:00 to 4:00 p.m. The brothers are proud to be members of Local Food Cleveland, a network connecting the people and organizations working toward a local food future in Northeast Ohio. Call 440-237-2577 or visit www.GraceBrosNursery.com for more information. The Cleveland location is at 1907 West 65th Street. Hours are Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.