Suburban Homestead January 2011

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It's January 30th an Spring is officially 50 days away, but if you are a gardener, or hope to become a gardener this year, your Spring garden should already be on your mind. If you live in a mild climate like I do January and February can send you on a planning roller coaster. Today is a fairly mild, over cast day with not much sun. The temperatures are in the mid 40s, so it's kind of a toss up. I COULD put on a coat and clean up the sleeping Winter garden….but it's just a tad too chilly to give me the ambition to get out there.

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Exactly one week ago today however,  the temperatures were in the high 40s with lots of sun, so we decided to let the girls spend a little time in the garden and start getting it ready for us.

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Our girls, as we call our chickens, are an integral part of moving towards a completely sustainable system and it all starts in the kitchen. In our home we make a focused effort to cook from scratch and use organic ingredients. We then feed the scraps from those meals (grains, skins, ends, seeds) to our chickens. They eat the super yummy scraps along with their organic layer feed and give us farm fresh eggs, which we then eat and feed the shells back to them. The waste they create is diligently mixed up with the wood shavings on the ground and any food scraps that they can't eat by their insatiable need to scratch and peck and hunt for bugs. This mixture makes an excellent rich dark dirt. We then add that back into the compost bin (shown in pics 2 & 8) and by the time Spring comes we will have quite a bit of fresh homemade organic compost. We will then use the compost to grow our organic garden, the scraps of which will be fed to the chickens and the cycle begins again.