|(The road to David's home is lined with flowering pear trees. They only flower for a couple of days a year.)|
Here's the Garden. The perimeter of the fence is 400 feet long. It's 8 feet tall, and you can sorta see the fishing line I tied across the garden to keep aerial predators from attacking the chickens. I mixed in a dump truck-load of compost, hundreds of pounds of organic fertilizer (chicken poop), several bags of lime, and a bag of powdered kelp. The other big project I'm currently working on is creating an irrigation system, which involves a makeshift dam in a nearby creek. So far we've only planted onions and lettuce.
Patience is our last remaining chicken. Because chickens are social animals, Patience has had to find ways to compensate for the loss of her friends, namely by paying extra special attention to me: demurely rubbing her wing against my calf, stepping on my hands whenever I'm sitting in the orchard, and even holding still and presenting her tail feathers to me, coyly giving the okay to be penetrated. "She's in love with you, you know," David says.
The chickens are as much pets as they are egg-producers, so I can't help but feel sympathy for the poor girl. So it's our goal to fix our diminishing chicken population problem.
We tried to raise a few chicks on our own last spring, but they were killed by predator that had successfully broken into the coop. I gave the coop a thorough inspection, and found that a lot of the downstairs wire had rusted, rotted, and come apart, which probably made it easy for a raccoon or weasel. I decided to renovate. I decided to make it into an impenetrable fortress. So I removed all the old wire and triple layered some of the more sensitive spots with new wire, making sure to leave no gaps for predators of any size.
I also dug a trench four inches into the ground, filled them with rocks, and put even bigger rocks on top of them, to keep out burrowing predators. I double-dare any predator to try to break in. We will probably buy more baby chicks at the local mill later this spring.
Here are two of the neighbor's horses.
The Abbey from the rear.
Squirrel scratching chest on deck.
Pear tree flowers up close.