Wednesday, August 8, 2012


There isn't too much more to my garden than chickens and fruit trees these days; and since the former isn't getting enough green, and the latter is being smothered by weeds, I'd be damned if I didn't feel some kind of synergy there waiting to be tapped. So I thought I'd bring them together and see if these two stalwart survivors could mutually benefit each other. Or, you know, fight to the death for the ultimate supremacy. Whichever.

So I spent a little bit of a sunny afternoon creating a collage of stakes, trellis, chicken wire, cable ties, bird netting and whatever else I thought might hold back the contents of Pandora's coop. Life would be so much easier if they made leashes for poultry.

Happy with the resulting monstrosity, I set the beasts free.

In a matter of days the chooks stripped back everything green below knee height, then, unsatiated by the feast, quickly set about digging to china, as it were (or in our case, the middle of the North Atlantic). Citrus hardly deals well with root disturbance, let alone complete root  annihilation - and wouldn't you know it, said tunnel was progressing through the root-ball of an orange tree. It was not an unexpected move by the chickens, and luckily I'd been preparing for it. I didn't want to just shut them out - because while the bed was now effortlessly clean, I wanted it to stay that way.

So for me, it was critical to make these two work together. I've attempted this with a roll of plastic trellis, some scissors and a bottle of beer (the latter has less to do with the chickens, and more to do with being Sunday afternoon - i.e. season to taste). Cutting a split half way into a square of trellis, I've manouvered said trellis to lay over the entire area of the bed. When the chickens scratch this, they'll hopefully be smart enough to figure out they can't go any further, and inevitably failing that, won't be able to go any further. But this also means they can fertilise and weed the bed for me while I consume said beer. Perfect, right?


  1. The chickens always win........


  2. You are SO right in saying that.