I received a copy of "Free Range Chicken Gardens" by Jessi Bloom,
from the publishers at Timber Press and since I am a strong supporter of free
ranging chickens and gardens reading and reviewing this book is my pleasure.
This book is beautiful, accessible and a joy to read. Not only do they talk about having and implementing a strong design plan but they also give great practical lists of plants
that our chicken friendly and also lists of plants that are poisonous.
The photography is beautiful too. This would be a great book for anyone who lives in an urban or suburban environment and wants a beautiful and practical chicken set up. If you are into utility only, this book is probably not for you but if you are a gardener who has been toying with the idea of integrating chickens into your garden plan this is your book!
They are giving away a copy of this book along with a bunch of other chicken goodies
on theire website. Here is the info:
$50 gift card for chicken feed or supplies from McMurray Hatchery
One chicken coop plan from The Garden Coop (a $20 value)
1 lb. of organic chicken forage blend and seeds for chicken-friendly plants
from Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (a $20 value)
A copy of Free-Range Chicken Gardens
All you need to enter is an email address. The contest ends February 17!
Now on to the question everyone keeps asking me...did we or did we not send
our chickens to freezer camp.
Now if you are a vegetarian, veterinarian or only like my beautiful posts
you might want to come back later, but if you want to
be encouraged to truly know where you food comes from then read on.
I has been amazing to me how many people have asked us
if we went through with processing our chicken.
Husbands and wives making bets whether or not we would be able to do it.
Just fyi...the wives took the odds with me going thru with it.
I have to admit that the morning of d-day, I was thinking inside my head...
I can't do this, as we were gathering up the chickens and putting
them in the dog crate to take them over to our friends and experienced chicken
processors, urban farm. Then, I had to say to myself, as I have to do many times with
our urban farming, animal husbandry issues..."Caroline, you can do this, your grandma
could do this and you are from that same stock. You just need to reach down into
yourself and face the reality that this is where your food comes from."
Then, I was ready to go.
We said a blessing and thanked God for these animals that are giving
their lives for our food.
It is so much easier to think that chicken comes in little sealed plastic
containers from Whole Foods, but we were ready to take the next step
in being organic and sustainable and not only grow our food but
raise it too. And on that day between Christmas and New Years we
took that next step by processing 14 meat birds in 2 1/2 hours.
If you are interested in doing this too, I would recommend finding
some chicken processing mentors. The whole day went so seamlessly
because we were in the hand of pros who have had years of
experience and wisdom. If David and I were on our own, it for sure
would not have gone as well--that is a fact!
The sense of accomplishment, knowing that I faced my fears and
in the end the fear of what might happen was greater than what
actually happened... is empowering.
This will now be part of our growing sustainable lifestyle.