Posted by Trish Darvall, 28th April 2009
I had been working flat out and hadn’t been to the allotment two days, so I was looking forward to some R&R in the garden. First thing to do when I arrived was feed the ravenous horde of broiler chickens. As usual, they came charging at the gate – as much as an overweight chicken can charge; it’s more of a fast waddle.
While they were gulping down their food, Paul cleaned out their houses – as he said, where are the cameras for those Oh-so-glamorous moments? I noticed some time ago that the chickens had very carefully picked their yard clean, except for the nettles. These were now threatening to take over the chicken run. I pulled most of them and have left them stew in water to make a nettle-tea fertiliser for the allotment. Only ever heard about this, so I hope it works.
The nettles weren’t going down without a fight and I discovered the bog-standard gardening gloves aren’t the best armour against nettles – my hands and wrists feel like I have really bad pins-and-needles even three hours afterwards.
But I did it, and the chickens were overjoyed!
Much more appreciative of new ground to peck around in than of their beautifully clean beds. The three little pigs are looking much happier too, since they have their new, improved garden to root around in. They seem less stressed and spend a lot of time outside. Like some other allotmenteers I am also fighting an on-going battle with elusive, unknown vermin. They steal in during the night and decimate the tender peas and strawberries. Honestly, it’s like guerrilla warfare on a garden scale!
So my peas have gone west, and I have covered my leeks and spring onions, hoping fervently that their wounds aren’t fatal.
Yep, it’s the Good Life alright…