This photo of Irene's detailing protection from chickens using a grill made from chestnuts branches is a perfect example of one improvised method for adapting to free range chickens and funnily enough I started doing something similar using sticks poked into the ground and big chunks of bark that I gather after splitting wood for winter heating. My food forest looks... how shall I put it? More interesting? Below you'll see a recent image of the food forest with yarrow, self heal and little purple coneflowers planted around the paw paws and june berries. Also three rhubarbs and three comfrey are planted and growing well. Last, clover and various greens planted in the berm are all doing well.
I look around and I see so much organic matter: straw, wood chips, sticks, bark as well as growing fertility such as comfrey, chickory, autumn olives and clover. Then there are the many animal contributions: chickens, guineas, a goose and a deer pooping and scratching and leaving nitrogen rich feathers everywhere. I have little doubt that the fertility of the soil all around the homestead is being greatly increased with all of the new ingredients and activities. Mushrooms and shelf fungi are also sprouting up everywhere which is a good indicator.
I've also started the second block in our humanure composting grid. Each block gets one year's worth of humanure and then sits for an additional 2 years (a total of 3 years) for complete composting. Eventually that compost will be used on the blueberries, juneberries and whatever other fruit bushes and trees we've got. My guess is that we could use it sooner but I'm not in any hurry.
It's been a slow process of fertility building as I never brought in any manure. All of the on site fertility is still in the process of either growing or breaking down from cardboard, newspaper, straw and wood chips. The soil in areas which have had mulch in place since last year are looking greatly improved. As of next spring we will have something like 35 comfrey plants going into their second year which means they'll be producing quite a bit of fertility.
Chickens, Conservation, Ecological Landscaping, Ecology, Edible Forest Gardening, Edible Landscaping, Food, Food Forest, Food Production, Forest Gardening, Gardening, Homesteading, Living Simply, Mushrooms, Natural, Permaculture, Self Reliance