Finding a use for the useless

Today while the girls napped, I got the temporary chicken fence put up around the swampiest, least useable part of the whole garden. (Can I get a “huzzah!” for working with long metal rods during a thunderstorm? Oh, the excitement!)

That pile of trash is most of the landscape fabric I pulled up. I’m waiting for it to dry so I can move it. But with another few days of rain predicted… that might be a while.

We happened to have a roll of chicken wire left over from the chicken coop expansion that was exactly the right length – serendipitous! And just enough T posts on hand.

The broilers and 3 new layers are going to go in here while they grow out; for maybe the next 6 weeks or so. My plan is that they can make use of otherwise completely unuseable land while pasturing themselves so I don’t have to drag the chicken tractor every day. In fact, to make use of what we already have instead of building new shelter, the chicken tractor is going in here, maybe permanently. It’ll take two of us and we’ll have to tip it to get it through the (8″ too narrow) gate. Wish us luck – that thing is pretty heavy.

That’s the plan, anyway… Unless the neighbors complain or something. They’ve told us they hate chickens, and while I wish it were in a different spot, this is the part of land that I can’t use for gardening so this is where they have to go. It’s only 5 or 6 more weeks til harvest, anyway.

It’s a pretty big space. They ought to be plenty happy.

In another month and a half, the water table ought to have gone down. I might be able to do something with the half of the land that isn’t a swamp; I was thinking I’d till it and plant wheat or some other cover crop, but my experience with the other tiller was so unpleasant that I’m rethinking that plan.

Maybe if the harvest goes well, I’ll just start another batch of chickens! Though actually, my husband might have something to say about that. He is not a fan of the chickens. Hm… With all the mud in the swampy part… he says I should grow rice. Think he’d go for ducks instead?

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