Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Raising Chickens and Gardens

Have you ever felt like what you are doing on your homestead could be done more efficiently. . .  . .  as if you could get all of the components of your homestead to work together simultaneously.  A couple of months ago I stumbled across Justin Rhodes from Abundant Permaculture.  I bought his course on Permaculture Chickens, taking a leap of faith when I really didn't have enough money to buy the course.

After watching the entire course over a couple of days I could see how inefficient our static coop of chickens were to our farm.  I also began to see why the General Manager's complaints of the amount of straw and shavings we were using in the coop was contributing to the slowness and somewhat nutrient deprivation of our compost pile.  So, what's a girl to do, but ask her father to cut some lumber out of his excessive pile and build a chicken tractor with her good friend.  I have used it so far to house a batch of growing chicks but am looking forward to putting it in the garden this fall for them to clear it out.

Now Justin is taking his teachings to a new level with his new course called, Growing Your Own Food On Less Than 10 Hours a Week.  For years Justin has been working on a couple of food growing systems where the chicken and garden work together to mutually benefit each other for more abundance with less work for the homesteader.

Today, he’s offering you a brief tour of two of the systems that help him grow most of his food (chicken and vegetables) on less than 10 hours a week.

CLICK HERE to see how Justin grows most of his own food on less than 10 hours a week.

Some great insights inside the video:

Exclusive tour of two Justin’s Chicken Gardens systems
Use Chickens in the front garden for continual assistance throughout the season.
Hear how you can easily grow a 1,200 sq/ft chicken crop garden w/o much work.
Get a glimpse of how the chicken and the garden can work together with little effort.
See a garden system that you can literally walk away from till harvest.

Be sure to check this out.  It will be well worth your time.  Happy gardening!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

When I've run out of excuses

Well, it has happened. . . . I have run out of excuses as to why I've not been posting and keeping you updated on my blog.  Somehow each day I vow to sit down and journal the happenings of our day and the next thing I know, life has taken over and it's been weeks, months and possibly even a year since the last time I posted something.

Our garden was planted over Memorial Day weekend.  I wish I could remember if that is early or late for us.  I did check back on my garden journal and see that each year we've planted a different weekend.  I believe that is the best advise I can give to new gardeners - keep a garden journal.  Not only should you write down your successes, but also your failures and everything inbetween.  When gardening, a gardener can use all the help possible to navigate through the uncertain journey from year to year.  It's one way you can remember the years that you've had to replant carrots, not once, not twice, but three times before you gave in to the dreaded slugs that demolished them each time the precious carrot sprouts came up.  And be sure to record each and every attempt to thwart those evil slugs, with Sluggo, diatomaceous earth, crushed egg shells, wood ash and then finally giving up and drinking the beer that should have gone into a bowl for them to drown in!

Our house has been in complete utter chaos since last September when our upstairs toilet overflowed and turned our house upside down after having half of the downstairs drywall and flooring removed because of mold.  Out of this extensive remodel we moved our front door, gutted our existing kitchen, moved and expanded our downstairs bath, and created the Shangri-La of all laundry rooms for momma.  My favorite part of the remodel was taking the old (plastic) claw foot tub and putting it into our garden as my new strawberry bed.  Who makes a claw foot tub out of plastic anyway - Really?  The thing never held any heat and was totally uncomfortable to sit in.  The tub has now earned it's weight in gold, well, actually red gold - we harvested at least two pounds of strawberries from it and all the plants were new.  Enough said!

So back to the garden. . .   I planted the basics this year, lettuce, spinach, radish, kale, onions, carrots (not so successful here), broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, peas, beans (I tried purple bush beans), potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins and cucumbers.  Some of the exotic plants we tried were purple peppers and cayenne peppers. There are two main reasons I call these plants exotic.  One, because we have never tried to grow them before and two, because we had lost our minds when we bought them, knowing full well our temperate coastal climate was not ideal for them   I was too embarrassed to post a picture of the pepper plants because they are so pitiful in the garden space.

Harvest up to now has consisted of strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, spinach, radishes, kale, four cucumbers, four zucchini, a dozen or so carrots that Abby and the General Manager planted, several gigantic onions and one cherry tomato.  It really brings me joy to be able to eat out of our garden and to eliminate some of our grocery costs.  For very little money in buying seeds, a couple bags of lime and a rather large bottle of Sluggo, it is so satisfying to be able to eat healthy foods from our garden and not wonder about where it came from or what it went through to get to our table.

I hope you have a great week and if you want to see more posts, please be sure to leave me a comment on what you'd like to be updated on.