Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Molting Chickens and Fall Food Crops

Egg laying slowed here a month or more ago as these two girls molt their feathers. L.G., the Rhode Island Red, lost her feathers last fall and didn't grow them back till this year! Anna Lee's genetics must be better because she is completing her molt all in one season. The two look like porcupines, but are still super cute...

We are going into our third season growing and planting our own homegrown garlic and we just love that this food supply is a closed loop for us! October is a great time to plant in Ohio so after our harvested garlic bulbs cured in the barn this summer, I put aside the best ones for planting.

We continue to rotate our crops around the garden so the same crop doesn't grow in the same place or in the same place as a related plant for at least three, usually four years. I put three rows of garlic in this raised bed.

Just a note on raised beds - we use them in the NW corner of our garden because it is wet, but unless you need them for a reason such as this, don't make them. They require hauling in of soil, something to build up the sides and they dry way too fast. It's so much easier to just grow in the ground. Even if you have "horrid clay" the crops will generally grow just fine as long as drainage is ok. Steve, the Soil Scientist, reminds us that soils here in the midwest are incredibly fertile!

Here's the planted and mulched garlic bed that we will not cover over the winter. They do just fine as planted and will send up shoots most likely in the spring though some may do so sooner if we continue to have mild weather this fall and into winter.

This past week we received about 3/4" of rain which our greens appreciated...watering from a well just isn't quite the same. The chard and kale continue to make us some mighty fine salads and we hope to keep those going for a long while yet.


  1. Your chicks look great!! What about sandy soil would you recommend raised beds?

    1. How much sand? Does it drain super fast? Many things grow well in sand, but if it's not working well for you Steve says he would ammend the soil before trucking in all new soil. :)


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