Our roosters will be gone after today. Our ladies, with their two gents (Brett & Jemaine), will finally exit the cloister of their coop, and take over the hillside.
The meat chicken experiment will be over, a lesson learned, and then some.
The winner of the giveaway is Roberta, who said,
"We were born broke-ass. A little over 2 yrs ago my husband and I knocked on our new neighbors door asking of they intended on using the chicken coop that came with their house. They said we could have it! We disassembled it in 105 degree weather while I was having serious side affects from antibiotics and carried it board by board to our house. We have since been able to build a very nice compost pile from chicken manure for the vegetable garden."
Roberta has a super-cool blog, Mulish & Co., and I love this! Thanks for playing, everyone, and Roberta, email your information so I can get this book off to you right away!
Now that our roosters are nearly gone, my focus is redirected to the garden. What can I say about it right now? It doesn't look too pretty, and it's still small, but it's coming along.
We have four 4x8 beds built and filled, and two more turned, fertilized with rabbit shit...
|Two weeks' worth of manure, which can be applied directly to the garden.|
...and covered with tarps for weed suppression.
Turning the soil has become a monumental endeavor. The grass and wild plants are growing so thickly, the garden fork gets stuck with every second turn. Jeremy's idea, after witnessing yet another fork-throwing temper tantrum by yours truly, was to suppress the weeds for a week or two before turning the soil, which sounds ever so much better than what I was doing.
We are harvesting things, finally. Just a few radishes, which popped out of the soil after a heavy rain, and lots of lettuce, which is growing happily. Luckily our children love vegetables, and seem to have a real appreciation for the growing process. Planting, weeding, harvesting, and eating are still enough of a novelty that they rarely complain.
I'm concerned about the broccoli, which is being chewed down to nothing. I've never had to deal with garden pests before. This will be a new and, I'm sure, quite interesting challenge.
I've also spotted gopher holes -- just in the chicken yard, so far.
This season should be a wild ride.
|Who's been eating my broccoli? What, the other seventeen billion plants in the immediate vicinity can't satisfy the insect population? Psh!!!|
The ladies are laying 18 eggs a day. We have no fewer than 12 dozen egg cartons, fully filled, in our kitchen at any time. Jeremy is asking for pickled eggs, the kids eat half a dozen hard-boiled eggs a day, and our carton situation is dire. I just made a deal with a friend: I give her 2 dozen eggs a week, she takes my bones and makes 24-hour bone broth, the good stuff, which I can't manage with minimal propane and solar power. The friend who housed our chicks gets another 2 dozen a week, and still, not even a dent in the egg storage.
I'm going to have to get creative, or else find buyers.
Spring Break is almost over, but summer is coming, oh yes. Even through the rain I can taste it.