Yep. That’s what it was called.
“What the Cluck?” was the coolest workshop we took while at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC last April. Apparently everyone else thought so too considering people were sitting on the floor and holding up the walls. Jessi Bloom was able to paint this beautiful picture of how to incorporate chickens in your garden. We were flooded with useful information that we could take home and apply to our homestead. We seriously couldn’t get home quick enough.
She showed us how we could use our flock to weed our garden, help fertilize, and even accelerate composting. Not to mention they can provide our family eggs and meat. Once we got home, Daniel and I built a chicken tractor. A very simple pvc pipe chicken tractor. We zip tied poultry netting around it and then a tarp over one end to give them shelter. We built it just wide enough to fit in between the rows of our garden. Josie, Clint, and Eastwood sure kept our rows crisp! We moved them every day to expose more weeds and soil to them. It didn’t take them long to pack down the dirt inhibiting new weeds from flourishing. They helped us through our garden season and then mother nature impeded. Just as we knew it would if we weren’t careful. Chickens have so many predators from your common raptors to your family dog. So if you’re considering adding chickens to your homestead be aware of where your flock is at all times and take the necessary precautions to building them a safe coop. FYI dogs that are not trained properly see chickens as their most sought after squeaky toy and are capable of tearing fencing apart to get to them. Jessi explains just this in her book, Free Range Chicken Gardens. I highly recommend this book to anyone with or considering chickens!
Lets face it… unfortunate things happen to all new farmers. Its a part of the experience in my opinion. We have to learn from it and put it behind us.
The 2nd annual Asheville Mother Earth News Fair is approaching us quickly. Like.. really quick. Why is it that as a child time creeps by? But as an adult if you blink you can miss some precious things? Last year the MENF made us want to live more simply. We are really excited for this year’s fair being that we are more established with our homestead and have a better idea of what direction we’re going with it.