Cleanup Crew

We’ve had two hard frosts. A hard frost is one that comes at night and covers the lawn with a shimmer of sparkling white. It lasts until after the sun rises into mid-morning. Your cold-sensitive plants wilt. A day later, they turn brown. When the weather report warns of a frost, conscientious gardeners get out and harvest the last of the annuals and save every tomato still left on the vine.

I didn’t.



I filled tubs with the rotting vegetation and dumped it into the compost bins in the chicken runs.

muck tubs


The hens are gleeful that I am such a lackadaisical gardener.

eating tomatoes

I appreciate that they quickly destroy evidence of indolence.


  1. I would not consider you lackadaisical in any sense of the word. We know it was all for the hens.

  2. I agree Durbin…It might be more accurate to say you knew those hens would get enjoyment from those green tomatoes and your pantry still has relish from last year…… whatever…..why do us thrifty types worry about such things? We know it all ends up the same way in the end.

  3. I still can’t believe how you fit everything into your busy life anyway (what with hens, dogs, goats & a horse). Not to mention all your chores and gardening & cooking. It is no wonder you left the tomato plants, but inevitably they found a very good home!!

  4. I think I’d let the frost get (at least some of) the garden veggies, too. Just seeing the hens enjoy the produce has to be worth it!

  5. I agree with Louise. Terry you are a wonder, the Ladies and Boys know you are a soft touch.:) My Girls are looking longingly had my veggie patch’s, but they have got to wait, carrots, sweetcorn and potatoes still going strong.
    Also it was very funny watching Agatha and Florence at roosting time last night, they keep going up and down perch ladders, in and out of nestboxes for ages, finally settled when Florence pushed her way in on top perch and Agatha settled in nestbox..:)

  6. I’m curious, Did you put the tomato vines in the compost? It was my understanding that tomato plants were toxic to chickens. In the nightshade family if memory serves me correctly.

    Or maybe once they’ve dried up like yours did, they are no longer a problem for chickens to peck at?

    • I’ve never understood the worry about the nightshade plants. I eat tomatoes, eggplant, etc. The chickens aren’t much interested in the plants themselves, not even when they’re fresh and green. The stuff I gave them they’ll turn into compost. But they do eat the tomatoes!