Gardening for Hens

We grow as much fruit, herbs and vegetables as we can – for us and the hens.

From strawberries and raspberries as a summer treat, oregano and other medicinal herbs or lettuce, cabbage, squash, pumpkin or even turnip leaves, the girls enjoy the bounty of the kitchen garden. The hens play their part too – their bedding and manure gets added to the beds and provides a rich mulch and conditioner for the soil that in turn produces healthy and vibrant plants.

Hens complete our garden – it wouldn’t be the same without them!

hocus-with-butternut-squash-2018-10-18

Butternut Squash 2018

An amazing butternut squash harvest today! Last winter the soil was covered in the used bedding and manure from the girls, providing a mulch that gave the soil nutrients as well as stopping weeds developing. The bedding rotted down over the winter and spring just in time for the cucurbits (squash and courgettes) to be

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home-made-apple-cider-vinegar-bottled

Home Brew

Last autumn we made some Apple Cider Vinegar for the hens and today was time for them to sample this delight! Apple Cider Vinegar is added to the hens drinking water at a rate of around 2% and has many health benefits. Being acidic gives it mild antiseptic and antibiotic properties as well as containing

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flower-seed-sowing-2017-04

Flower Seed Sowing

Apparently hens love edible flowers and continuing our theme and objective of Under My Wing of a natural and nutritious lifestyle, I sowed nasturtiums, marigolds and sunflower seeds today.

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herb-seed-sowing-2017-04

Herb Seed Sowing

One of our objectives when the new girls arrive is to keep them healthy and illness-free for as long as possible by pursuing the natural healing powers of herbs that can be easily grown in the garden. Now, in our experience most of our ex-commercial girls succumb to reproductive cancers and laying illnesses that simply

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greenhouse-spring-clean

Greenhouse Spring Clean

Today was the annual greenhouse clean, so that it’s in tip top shape for the new season. This was a combined autumn and spring clean, as we’d been a bit lax at the end of last year, but a good half day was all it took with a pressure washer to freshen it up. Everything

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courgettes

Cucurbits

This family of vegetables are very susceptible to frost so don’t usually get planted outside until after the last frost. I start them off early in pots in the greenhouse though to give them a head start. They need lots of space to grow but generally give you a good crop, e.g. one courgette plant

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hens-kale

Brassicas

Our girls love brassicas especially cabbage, kale, even turnip leaves. They are relatively easy to grow but need a lot of space. I sowed two different types of cabbage today and two different types of kale with different harvesting times with the aim that we have a constant supply for the new girls when they

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