Chook Garden

I have started to establish our food gardens on the farm, mostly in raised beds. But I found myself with a small stretch of soil which was right next to the new chook yard which was just begging to be planted up. I edged it with some left over bricks donated by a friend of mine for just such a purpose, piled it with pea straw and left it alone for several weeks to allow the bugs and worms to inhabit the safe haven under the mulch and begin to turn the soil.

Only recently did I plant the bed after we’d had a good couple of rainfall events – with herbs and chicken-friendly plantings that will benefit them if they peck at them through the wire – which I fully expect that they will – the plants will also attract bees and other beneficial insects to the garden.

I’ve planted two varieties of sage – green and purple, geranium – mainly because I had it, it’s hardy and it will flower and feed the bees, fennel which is great for chooks – it supports their reproductive health and lets face it – it’s all about the eggs for me! I also planted tansy which keeps blow flies at bay (they are attracted to all that chicken poo), thyme which promotes respiratory health,  acts as an antioxidant, has antibacterial properties, and helps control parasites. I also planted perlagonium because it smells really nice and will hopefully help to mask any chicken poo smells which might arise. I also inter-planted a few iris bulbs, simply because I have plenty, gifted to me from my mother-in-law and they will provide spots of colour and delight in spring.

Of course I was duly supervised by the beneficiaries of my gardening efforts – the chickens …

It always an act of hope and faith, planting a new garden, not only for the benefit of the humans that pass by and through it, but for the chickens on the other side of the wire.


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