Putting the Girls to Work

I’ve had hard frosts in my backyard right into the end of May, but this year the winter has been unseasonably mild and I think that this spring will be a warm one, too. So, I decided to take a chance and plant early. I’m eager to sow the cool-season crops, like parsley, kale and spinach. Although the beds look ready for planting, there’s one chore to do before I can plant. There are bad bugs lurking in the leaves and the dirt, and I know just who can dispose of them.

Yesterday I lured the Gems into the fenced vegetable garden and shut the gate behind them. The chickens would rather be in the pumpkin patch or the woods, but they soon understood the task at hand. The Gems set right to work. Go get ’em, girls!

Today I planted the greens. Today, when the girls had their free-range outing, they were on the other side of the fence.


  1. I love this idea! I think my husband’s “garden OCD” would be in the way, though. Too much soil would likely be scratched out of the raised beds and into the gravel pathways and that would frustrate him.

  2. I was going to say cheaper then pesticides but I caught myself on that one, definately safer.

  3. Is that Agatha watching you through the fence. I must admit, I am loving the colors of the speckled sussex.

  4. David was wondering what are you using to hold your raised bed sections and corners together. It looks like some sort of pre-fab composite materials.

    • I bought the corners from Gardener’s Supply. I used fake wood that doesn’t rot (and is supposed to be inert.) I’ve had them now for 9 years, so they’re no longer available, but similar items are on the market.

  5. That is the downside to my year-round growing season! My raised bed is seldom completely empty so the hens could clean it up for me. I always let them get the bugs out of compost before I add it though.

  6. So far my girls have not discovered my raised planting boxes. I managed to get my leafy stuff in this weekend. Welcome Spring!

  7. Just posting to say how nice it is to visit and see the girls, the boys and Candy going about their day! I just love your cams, blog, etc. Hope all is well with you!

  8. You’ve got the right idea taking the risk to start planting now. I’m SO tempted to start filling pots with spring pansies. I can’t stand my bare front yard anymore. I just hope spring has sprung for good!