Fun fact. Chickens have cognitive abilities, light years beyond dogs and cats, and a cuteness factor that's only recently been recognized. Jump ahead of this trend by wrapping your own baby chick in the colorful patchwork "Chicken Farm" quilt by Stree Shakti, a women's self-help group in India. Each quilt is hand-stitched and takes a little more than two weeks to complete. Also, each blanket has the hand-stitched signatures of the women who made the quilt. The Stree Shakti quilters group was created to help a sick community member, and is as sustainable as it is community-focused. The workshop utilizes on-site solar panels for electricity and a rainwater harvesting system. Also, a portion of the profits are re-invested back into the quilters' local community, from educational to nutritional initiatives.

Story by Nicole Zerillo. This article originally appeared in "Plenty" in December 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008