Just so you realize that a man and his hoe® is about more than just mother raised chicken and eggs, here are some pictures of some crops which are growing now. What you see here are shallots, raspberries, plums in bloom, onion, garlic, and arugula. Though chickens do a thorough job clearing out pests, they can destroy vegetable beds in no time. Often, they aren’t going after the vegetables. They usually destroy vegetable beds by tearing them apart in their search for earthworms and bugs.
A terrific byproduct of vegetable and fruit production is mountains of compostable material. Every two to three months I start a new compost pile and keep adding to it until it is time to start another pile. Chickens are great compost workers, and every time I need to stir or break down and rebuild a compost pile, they swarm in to help. They can’t get enough of all the good worms and bugs they find in the pile. Their litter helps get the compost pile cooking, and when the pile is done, they do a great job breaking it down and spreading it over new vegetable beds.
The great thing about growing crops and raising chickens is that you see up close what nature is. It is always changing and constantly recycling everything. There is no waste in nature. Everything is something’s or somebody’s food. And while this frenetic activity is going on, there is so much beauty to see, it takes your breath away.
2 Replies to “Living Green”
We’ve always fenced off our garden areas to keep the chickens from tearing them up. This year, though, we have a huge volunteer garden where the ground wasn’t tilled, and where the chickens haven’t been fenced off. I expected the chickens to attack & destroy it, but so far they haven’t. A few pecked leaves, sure, but no major damage. If this holds up, it would save me the hassle of fencing off crop areas. Maybe it isn’t the crops themselves that attract chickens, but the turned up soil.
Chickens can do more damage scratching for bugs and worms than actually eating crops. But if while they are digging for bugs in your potato patch and uncover potatoes, they will eagerly devour them.