Now that the growing season is over, it’s time to put the girls to work. Despite neglecting my pumpkin patch all summer, somehow I harvested a bumper crop of butternut squash, but I also grew a tangle of weeds, which fell over after the first hard frost and then become covered in fallen leaves. The garden needs a thorough cleanup. I could rake and dig, but instead I asked the girls to lend a hand.
Or, rather, lend their feet.
And their voracious appetites
I showed them to the patch, where they all eagerly set to, shredding the weeds into a fine dust and eating the grubs that had burrowed down to overwinter. Even Pearl, who is a tad overdressed for farm labor, went right to work.
The hens are not methodical, no double-digging in straight rows for them! Rather, they leave patches of perfect earth.
The girls will continue to have forays into the garden all winter long. There will be a break when there’s snow, but otherwise they’ll get this job done bit by bit. The pumpkin patch should be in good shape by the time it’s planting season again next year.