Flowers, Vegetables and Chickens
June 23, 2012 § 2 Comments
This is where I spend most of my time, in the gardens. I love to walk around, coffee cup in the morning, wine glass at dusk, and see what’s coming up, what needs pruning, or just admiring the beauty of it all.
In the beginning of the season there’s a lot of work to do, but now there’s just some weeding among the vegetables that must be kept up. Even a few days of rain and they take over.
Comfrey is everywhere in the garden. It re-seeds like crazy but I just cut it down regularly and put it under my tomato plants. Sometimes I make comfrey tea and water the vegetables and flowers with it. Just cut the stalks, put in a bucket and let it sit a few days. Then dilute it with water. It’s high in nitrogen and your plants will love it!
Some radishes and celery, which I regrew. I saw this on the internet, it’s not my idea, but I had to try it and it does actually work. Take some celery, cut the base off, put it in water overnight, then plant the next day, about 1 inch deep.
It will regrow and you can pot it or put it in the garden. Works with ginger too. Very cool!
The peonies were really lush and beautiful this year. I think the rainy spring we had might have had something to do with that. I neglected to stake them and their heavy heads all bent to the ground. I brought most of these with me when we moved here 15 years ago, so they’re settling in and getting old….like me!
What is it about chickens? Every day they give us an egg: nature’s perfect food. It’s a connection to the land and to our food that’s part of the appeal too. And today with so much of our food adulterated and just plain toxic, knowing that your eggs (and vegetables) are organic and healthy to eat is in itself a reward.
I like to give my the chickens some special treats once in awhile. I boil potato skins until soft as they won’t eat them raw (smart chickens) They go crazy for these. But then they go crazy for any scraps I bring down from the kitchen. They come running, with their wings flapping as if getting ready for take-off. It’s funny to watch! Every few days I go in with a shovel and turn over the dirt for a special snack – earthworms. I do feel bad for the worms, but only for a minute or two. A real delicacy are slugs that I get from the vegetable garden, and I think that gives me more pleasure than them!
Keeping chickens has become very popular recently, even in cities on rooftops I’ve heard. You really don’t need to have a farm or own a lot of land to keep a few hens. Just a safe place where foxes, dogs or predators can’t get to them. Of course having some green grass is ideal, it’s the first thing mine go for in the mornings when I let them out of their coop. Some fresh water, sunshine, food of course and shelter. The benefits of collecting your own fresh eggs is so worth the effort. And then you get all that good manure to use in your gardens, grow your vegetables and start the cycle all over again.
I’ve only had chicks one year from one of the hens, here is a drawing I did of them.