I absolutely love this time of year in the garden. Subtle changes happen quickly and if you’re not paying close attention, you miss the details. Like the swelling of the rose canes or the blush of the muscari before it pops open revealing its beautiful lavender color. Butter-colored daffodils opening right before your eyes like a time-lapsed video. The cracking of the soil as a seed plumps up and starts grow, breaking the surface.
It’s spring and it’s beautiful.
This year, I’m especially excited because we’re finally getting chickens! And in exactly 1 week we’ll be picking them up. I’m a little nervous but thanks to Lisa Steele — chicken guru extraordinaire — I am think I’m ready. Her book Fresh Eggs Daily gave me all the practical information for raising healthy and happy chickens and her engagement with her community of chicken lovers on her Facebook page has proved to be priceless. Also, her Fresh Eggs Daily website is chock-full of incredible tips, DIY projects, and chicken care information and has become my go-to source of information for everything chicken related. If you’re thinking about raising backyard chickens or just have the slightest interest, I encourage you grab a cup of coffee and stop by for a visit!
I asked for your help in choosing the color of the chicken coop and the overwhelming winner was barn red! We’ve had trouble catching a break in the weather for the wood to dry out enough to paint. But a few dry days in a row and weekend of sunshine allowed us to get the chicken run side finished.
And speaking of the chicken run, it was built over the winter in the barns. Rich planned out every detail and designed it in 3 10-foot sections so we could reassemble it when it was time to install. I’ll be posting a lot more on the coop and run soon, but here’s a sneak peek.
The chickens will have a lot of space to explore and thrive that includes a sandy beach area for them to dust bathe, a green space complete with a chicken garden, and a covered area to protect them (and their food) during inclement weather. Fallen limbs and old stumps serve as outdoor perches. There’s even a large stone for them to hone their beaks. Also, self-dispensing containers of grit and calcium rich crushed oyster shells should fulfill those cravings.
It’s going to be a learning process but I think we’re off to a good start!
We have to eat too so a lot has been going on in the garden. It always starts with an annual cleanup of the area. As much as we love the beautiful Wye Oak tree that sits near the garden, it makes an incredible mess. Especially because its leaves don’t all come off in the fall — many remain on the tree until new growth forces them off. Mother Nature planned this because it provides shelter for birds and squirrels during the winter but the downside is we have falling leaves through late spring.
We have all the cooler weather plants in the ground now: Brussels sprouts, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, cabbage, onions, potatoes, beets, chard, carrots, and lettuce. Oh my!
Stay tuned for the arrival of the chickens and a new feature that will allow you to get up close and personal with the flock!