I’ve been away from the garden both mentally and physically. We all need a break sometimes. The root-knot nematodes forced a self-imposed retreat from all things edible in half of my plot space. The soil had to be covered with plastic sheeting for 6 weeks (solarization). It was good timing, to be honest, because I never plan on not being an edible gardener. And truly absence has made my heart grow fonder.
The other functioning half of my edible space has been growing a bountiful crop of arugula, among other cool season things. I am absolutely in love! It germinates at near 100% and grows with such ease. Plus the rabbits, rats and mice don’t care for it. It continues to produce new leaves when only the outer ones are harvested. A perfect addition to any salad with it’s peppery flavor.
Our flock of hens changed this fall. Having 5 Silkies and 1 new Americauna, it wasn’t the number that forced my hand, is was the noise. I’d known for some time that two of the Silkies in particular were, ahem, more vocal than the rest. Out of consideration for our suburban neighbors (who never to this day complained), we re-homed the out-spoken duo. Honestly it was mostly for my sanity as well, because over the summer I felt myself going outside to calm them, give them treats as a means of distraction, etc. quite often while I was home. And I don’t like thinking about what was transpiring while I was away. Of course they still free ranged daily, but when I had them restricted in the area surrounding their coop for safety when I can’t keep watch, they’d let me know they weren’t happy. And, well, even chickens know that the grass is greener.
Alas, our two girls went to a fantastic home in a rural community only 20 minutes from here where they have 4 acres of green grass to roam ALL DAY….along with 45 other chickens. I found this chicken lover through the friend who has given me our hens. I would only let them go if I was confident that they would be treated well and have a happy, free range life. And they do.