Chicks Dig Pasture

Haha! I know I do.

Today we put our 4 week old baby laying hens in their outside tractor. We’re trying something new this time by putting these little foragers to work creating compost while keeping our grain costs down.

IMG_0454

We were inspired by Geoff Lawton’s video, “Chicken Run on Steroids“.  If you haven’t seen it already, watch it…. perhaps it will inspire you to do something similar? We have 16 laying hens so we will do a pared down version of Lawton’s method during our warm summer and into fall. We plan to start collecting leftover vegetable matter from a local boarding school and will keep adding 5 gallon buckets of kitchen scraps over the week.

Then, in a week or two (these little ladies are still pretty small) we’ll move the pen, keeping the already scratched pile within their electrified area so they can keep working it while creating a new pile on top of the poop-rich area under the roosting bars. Each week (or so) the pen and net will move creating several already turned piles. We may use this to enhance the soil in place (looking to reclaim this area as garden) or use it as compost in our existing beds.

I’m so impressed with these birds, they really are magic, somehow they are born knowing how to forage and scratch. We provide them with fresh food they LOVE as well as fresh pasture and they work for us breaking down, pooping and aerated the compost. Win win!

IMG_0447

They’ll be making a dustbath of that dirt patch on the right in no time. We’ll hook up a small nipple waterer and a hanging food bucket tomorrow.

IMG_0456

They look a little awestruck now but tomorrow they will have combed through the whole area.

Yours,

Deb

IMG_0458

 

 

Advertisements

Shibori on the Clothesline

Today I was motivated to do some shibori dying. I just adore seeing a full clothesline too.

IMG_0345

I’m just so in love with this process, it involves folding/wrapping/clamping/tying as a way of creating a resist, then when dipped in indigo dye the results are magic. There really is no wrong way to do this. Opening each piece is so exciting!

I dyed 12 cloth napkins and 12 dishtowels along with two linen dresses that have been hanging around unworn, because who wears white? I know I don’t.

shibori dresses

shibori

The dish towels are made of thin flour sack cotton fabric, perfect for around the kitchen but I have plans to sew them together into a beach cover up.  (I’ll post pics of that later)

FullSizeRender 13

Each one of these pieces is unique and could never be ‘exactly’ repeatable, that’s exactly what I love about shibori…it’s wabi-sabi. The perfect in the imperfect.

I’ll be hosting a dying workshop at the farm on July 2nd at 10am-2pm if you would like to learn how to dye in this traditional Japanese way. We will focus on flat cloth (napkins/towels etc) in this workshop as dying clothing be somewhat complex.

Let me know if you’re interested!

Yours,

Deb

IMG_0419

This Week in Pictures (June 1, 2016)

Late spring is my favorite, I’m just trying to keep up!

This week we had some rich compost delivered. Shoveling that sh*t was hard work but a dunk in Goose Pond made it all worth it.  I reclaimed some lawn outside the garden borders to allow for some rambling squash plants too, hopefully we have a chaotic patch of pumpkins and hubbard squash and zucchini soon.

The perennial gardens are blooming and  filling in as well. The early morning dew, fog and light made for some beautiful photos, many of these were taken by Opal.

Morning fog, Hunky toads, dewdrops and campfires….life is good.

Yours,

Deb