I need to stop giving in to my clucking hens and refrain from letting them run wild throughout my veggie garden. They are digging up and destroying crops all over the place. I did manage to salvage a few things for myself this week, just not that many.
The watercress is starting to produce enough leaves for the odd handful. It shouldn’t be too long before I get soup volume amounts from my plants they are growing so quickly. Also doing well are the lettuces (those the hens have left alone anyway) and coriander although the latter is growing a lot slower than I could eat it given half the chance.
The hens might be destructive but at least they are giving me something for all my shredded lettuces. We are getting 2 eggs most days from our 3 hens which I am really pleased with. 2 of the girls are laying regularly now and the third seems to be a week or two behind the other 2 so hopefully soon they will all be averaging an egg a day in the near future.
The broccoli continues to give me enough side shoots for my own needs (my family is averse). The Detroit Dark Red beetroot have just reached a nice harvestable size and I pulled my last celeriac this week.
So hen destruction aside it hasn’t really been a bad week. And my broad beans are flowering so hopefully there are more good things coming soon.
For more harvests from around the world head over to Daphne’s Dandelions.
Chookies are wonderful if you can keep them off your garden. My temporary beds were somewhat prepared for the chookies – I had had to erect boarders to keep a wallaby our and these with some adjustment for beak size have largely done the job. Thankfully my permanent beds are well fenced both for wallaby and chook!
Nice pickings even so!
I love hearing about your garden although I am getting very envious indeed. Oh for the space to have fencing…
I’m trying to grow watercress for the first time this year. I was tempted to grow it in the pond but decided against that method.
I find growing it in the ground really effective. Its nice not having to worry about all the water.
Just train the hens to pull the weeds and leave the veggies alone ;). You are still getting some nice things in your basket despite the seasonal transition.
Now why didn’t I think of that…..he, he, he.
Ahh, fresh eggs! How lovely! Sorry they are messing up the garden! But do enjoy those fresh eggs! Your harvest looks lovely, even though the chickens took some!
I have to say whenever I crack an egg I forgive them a little of the damage.
I concur with you about the chookies, just spent a bit of time doing the bent poly pipe and bird net rig over beds and it is working really well. I must say I continue to be impressed with your photos, it would be lovely if you shared a secret or two ie camera/lens/special tips. Just about to start harvesting my broccoli, sadly didn’t get to plant broadies this year. I’ll have to savour your photos instead!
Bird netting is a great idea – I will have to get some this weekend. Re the photos – glad you enjoy them. Not sure how many secrets I have though. I have a Minolta digital SLR that is about 7 years old. I use it with my old SLR lens (which predate digital) and they don’t seem to be completely compatible with the camera as it wont let me use many of the camera modes at all. The camera is also stuck on ISO of 100 which means I need to shoot pretty much everything outside otherwise the shuttered speed is just too slow. Even outside to get a shutter speed of even 50 I often have to almost no depth of field which is why almost all my shots are close ups. Whilst in an ideal world having a more flexible camera would be great I do find its constraints work quite well for me. It means I am very used to taking close up still life shots.
Oh well, you know those eggs are the best, what with all the great veggies the hens are munching on. My watercress is in no state to harvest right now, it’s alive, but covered with blooms and seed pods. Perhaps it will decide to volunteer all over the place so I can get a decent crop next winter.
I reckon it should – mine self seeds everywhere.
Someone needs to produce knitted booties for hens to wear when they’re out in the garden to stop them scratching up everything in sight… good thing they lay eggs and earn their keep in that way.
The booties would be a great idea although the hens may not agree, they do seem to dig with such gusto they must be enjoying it.
Lovely harvests. I’d have trouble keeping the hens out of the garden too if I had them. But I’d tell them to eat the slugs and earwigs. Not that they would listen, but it would be my perpetual hope. I sure could have used them today. I think I killed a million slugs. I wonder how they would do with the snails.
unfortunately they don’t seem too interested in the slugs – not sure I blame them though…
Bad chickens, shredding the lettuce! But good chickens for those nice eggs! I guess it evens out somewhat…your harvest looks fresh and yummy!
Lovely harvest basket you have there. Our desert climate is too hot and arid to grow watercress, otherwise I would love to give it a go.
Oh oh, letting the birds run wild throughout the veggie garden… oh oh… our two chickens are giving us eggs quite regularly… and your eggs, they look good…
You’re right of course it is a silly thing to do….
Jealous on all fronts Liz, the harvest and the chickens (though perhaps not the destruction). It all looks great, esp the broccoli, there must be something wrong with the rest of your family!
I’m starting from scratch again and looks like I’ll be fighting some shade issues, but hopefully I’ll have something to harvest in the Spring or Summer. We’re also planning chickens. Mr Good has a strategy to build a portable chicken coop the same dimensions as the veggie beds so we can rotate them through without giving them free run of all of them. I wonder if I will be able to resist their clucks though?
PS I’ve been missing your blog, it doesn’t work on my iphone and I have hadn’t my own laptop for the last few months. I have a lot of catching up to do.
I didn’t realise I didn’t work on iphone – I wonder why not. I had plans for a potable coop but the one my partner made is too heavy to be moved easily and its remarkably difficult to get the chooks to go into it anyway. They are almost as naughty as Mr 3. But unlike him they are productive…
Watercress is a big favourite of mine – and of course Hampshire, where I live, is the premier place in the UK for growing it.
Sorry I haven’t been commenting much recently – Jane has been very ill and my mind has been on things other than blogging for a while…
No need to apologise I haven’t been commenting much either. I hope Jane’s health is much improved!!!
I’ve solved the problem with chooks running wild…………I just don’t let them out much and when I do its very late in the afternoon and I watch them with A BIG STICK! I do plant lots of extras for them, they love kale and I also throw them all my weeds. Went to a market in Castlemaine today and brought some wonderful healthy organic seedlings, Detroit red beetroot (haven’t tried them before) fennel, and dill only $2.50 each !
$2.50 is a great price. I have attempted the watching them (the chooks) with a big stick approach but I stood on a bunch of newly planted seedlings in process of chasing them off the garden with said stick which kind of defeated the whole thing. I have since started using a hose instead and giving them a quick sprinkle when they venture into areas I would prefer they didn’t. So far it is working well (albeit in a time consuming way).