Saturday, July 27, 2013

I've Been Out-Gardened by Chickens

2012′s garden was a dismal failure.  I planted all sorts of different seeds, watched them sprout and grow to about a 1/2 inch, and die.  Don’t know why they didn’t survive, but the only crop I was able to harvest from the garden that year was the spinach I’d planted in the winter of ’11.  Spinach is good, but when it’s the only thing the garden is producing, it’s less-than exciting.  -_-
Note that I specified that the only thing we were able to harvest from the garden was spinach.
‘Cause, see, we were harvesting tomatoes from the yard.
I didn’t plant ‘em there.  We just found them growing in a couple random places in the yard, and although most of the plants were mowed over because of the inconvieniant places they were in, at least one of the plants survived and produced tomatoes.
After some puzzled deliberation, we decided that they must have been “planted” by the chickens, which are contained in a movable coop Stephen built.  (I think he based it on the ones featured in Joel Salatin’s book, “You Can Farm”?)
I don’t pretend to have a green thumb.  But to find that I’d been out-gardened by a couple of cowardly birds? Ouch. 
So when spring of 2013 rolled around, my competitive side showed itself and I was determined to prove that my thumb was at least a little bit greener than a chicken’s.  I planted my seeds and felt quite satisfied with myself when they sprouted and grew and started producing, even when I had to buy a couple plants after a few of mine didn’t make it.
But, guess what we found growing in our backyard a week or so ago?
Yeah, that’s right.  The chickens were at it again.
I hadn’t planted corn, simply because I didn’t want expand my garden enough to fit it in, and I didn’t think that our seeds were good anymore, anyway.
And cucumbers?  Well, one of my plants had survived, but I wanted more cucumbers than that, so I got a couple more from Walmart.
So the chickens snickered and planted corn and (I think) cucumbers.
Do chickens even have thumbs?

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