This year we tried a new method of gardening. We've been following Ruth Stout's "No Work," deep mulching method of gardening. It's had it's ups and downs. Now we're into fall. To take down the dying plants and to fertilize the garden we've moved the chickens into the garden.
Here are the chickens, moved to a new spot in the garden. I know it is hard to see through the reflection of the wire, but the chickens are delighting in the tromped-down old tomato plants. Needless to say, they were beyond happy!!
~The "old spot"~
This is where the chickens were. We moved them there on September 15th and then moved them to the "new spot" on the 21st. As you can see, this has given them some time to really have fun with the area. We spread their feed directly on the ground, encouraging them to scratch it up more, and we also gave them treats. See the watermelon rind?
~The "old spot," the "new spot," and the greenery of the garden as we enter Fall in general~
After we move the chickens, we will lay down a layer of newspapers and mulch. Ruth Stout recommends using spoiled hay. We did that but we had two issues with it: 1)it sprouts and since we're not in the country, spoiled hay doesn't come free; 2)our pain-in-the-butt of a neighbor repeatedly called and complained to the City about it. "Looks like a milk farm over there," & "it looks primitive" ~ I really don't care what she thinks, but having to buy the spoiled hay, get it moved to the garden (or near the garden), and then buying more before it sprouts into grass IS kind of a pain. So, for now, we use wood chips thanks to Paul Bunyan Tree Service (http://www.pbunyan.com) - they have their own wood chipper and have to pay to dispose of the wood chips, so they offer them to the community for free. Recycling at it's best!
~This the wood chip pile. It is from their "small" truck too!~
~The "old spot" now covered with a thick layer of newspaper and then mulch~
No sooner had we finished mulching the "old spot" and getting it all nice and perrtty for Fall, than the dogs happened. This tends to happen when you have dogs, and we have Jomo. If you look at the right of the photo, on the wood, you can see where they chewed at it last night. Tonight, Justin was taking out the compost and he noticed that the dogs weren't anywhere around. He began calling for them and noticed that Whiskey, our Chocolate Lab, inside the garden & he figured Jomo was probably in there somewhere. He went over there and found him inside the coop, standing up, looking out towards Justin. Jomo realized he was in trouble and laid down. It took Justin over 15 minutes to get him out of the tractor.
Luckily, none of the chickens seems to have been injured. Justin could tell where he had nosed at some of the chickens, LadyBird and AnnBancroft were a little wet looking and had ruffled feathers, and (as you can see in the photo) Patti & either Easter or Bunny were cowered together in the corner. No chickens hurt, just nosed at a little.
Oh, and the dogs pulled out a lot of the newspaper. So much for pretty. Neighbors, I'm sure, are NOT shocked.