Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chickens and Garden

The chickens have been doing great, and are getting so big! Taking care of them has been far easier than I had even imagined. I fill up their feeder and waterer every three days or so. Once a week I scoot the pine shavings in their condo down onto the floor of the run and replace it with new shavings. The 10' x 10' run has a deep layer of wood chips and pine shavings (8–12"). From time to time I sprinkle some of their food on the ground and they peck and scratch at it, stirring up the ground and helping to compost their own droppings. The run smells sweet (6 weeks into it) and, if all goes as it is supposed to, should remain sweet-smelling until its annual rakeout. I try to let them out once a day to run around the yard. They are always supervised, however, since there are birds of prey here that reportedly love chickens. That's pretty much it! Having the chickens is what really makes it feel farm-like here. They are so much fun to watch as they peck around the yard. They're just so... HAPPY!

The garden is getting there, slowly but surely. DH made a 5' x 32' bed with a protective hoop cover on it. Inside we now have 480 pots of seeds (and a few seedlings!) and 22 fruit trees waiting to be planted when the danger of frost has passed in another month or so. We've also arranged for a dump truck to bring us eight cubic yards of the county's free compost on Thursday. DH planted our peas on Sunday too; it's nearly too late to plant the peas! (I still am not anywhere near getting used to Savannah gardening rhythms.) All the boards that we originally got for fencing are now stacked up and cut to the right lengths to make the rest of the beds, so bit by bit we'll get those built and fill them with the wood chips, nitrogen, and the giant pile of compost coming soon. With only eight 8–10 person-hours on Sundays, and little bits of time here and there it's slowly coming together. So fun to see things growing.

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