Putting our birds to work in the garden is our first step into permaculture; making a solution out of the problem. I am about to tell you what steps I took to prepare my garden and my birds for their living transition.


It all started last week when I finally decided something’s gotta give. We have hens who are no longer laying, have gone broody, or are causing detriment to the flock. I happened to have one of each and then some. All of which are my oldest hens and to my knowledge had stopped laying, well it didn’t end there. An Australorp gal decided she liked the taste of her fellow layers’ eggs and one of my Orpintons went broody and made the other girls miserable.


So, these girls had to go. I originally planned on culling, or butchering, the ole gals, but permaculture kept blinking in my mind. Is there something these ole girls can do around the homestead?

Yes there is.. and way more than just one option!

I decided the girls would be best suited to find a new home in our vegetable garden. Its hardened over form winter and needed a face lift. Luckily I deep cleaned the main coop about 6 weeks ago. So all the pine shaving, deep bedding goodness has had a little time to air out. This will make a great mulch for the garden.


So, I caught all my older gals and transferred them from the coop, outside to my fenced garden. In my terms, I ghetto rigged the fence to make it a bit taller (I have no deer problems so I have no use of high fences) And with the help of a friend, clipped all the birds’ wings in order to possibility prevent fly outs.

Whew… got my cardio in for the day!

All the girls have since been busy busy at work tilling, spreading, and shallow aerated. Even Big Papa (our main rooster) has found a home with the girls (he spent the winter on his own outside the coop), so its safe to say he is in good company now, with 5 hens and 3 ducks all to himself.

To my surprise all 5 of the girls started laying again just two days later, I haven’t seen broody behavior, nor any evidence of egg eating.

Maybe they disliked the younger hens, maybe two roos on 12 girls was just WAY too much for my ladies, or maybe they just miss their free-er range days…

It’s ok girl friends I understand, if the mama hens aren’t happy, aint no chicken happy!

They are now free to wander as they please within the confines of the garden fence. If any of ya’ll didn’t tune in for my chicken hating neighbor stories, you haven’t missed much, but maybe now you get why my dinos lost their free-range privileges…

Let’s just say chickens are terrible landscapers…. te he he… ahem.

I am just so happy that my girls are happy again, whatever it was. And my garden is happy to.

Dreaming of a luscious garden,


(BTW..Anyone who is interested in having chickens or already does and may have questions, seek out none other than Justin Rhodes, his vlog on YouTube has transformed my view of chicken farming and I hope he can do the same for you. Thank You Justin at Abundant Permaculture for your wealth of knowledge!)


Homesteading isn’t easy, the decision to live this way, however, it was the easiest choice we have ever made.


I get asked all the time if it wouldn’t just be easier to scrap the whole idea and move back into town. And yeah, I bet it would be easier. There are days we want to quit, and there are always going to be days when we’re even asking ourselves why the hell we are doing this?!?

But isn’t that the point? To constantly reassess your life and how your dreams and aspirations fit into that life. To reach your goals and then set higher ones. To never stop asking the hard questions.


Do I really want to do this?

Do I really want to keep doing this?

I am really happy with this?

How can I do this better?

Taking time to reflect on oneself and reconnecting with ones earthly desires is suddenly so paramount in my life. (FYI yoga is a great time for personal reflection!) Allotting time of reflection is something I have lacked  in recent years. But as my family stands at a crossroad of decisions, let us just say I am reflecting all over. And sometimes not so gracefully…


Maybe its the changes in my life over the last year, or maybe its this deep burning inside me to pack up my family and rough it. To really go off-grid for real. Modern advancements make this much easier and accessible, but in all honesty I was totally born in the wrong generation.

I feel that, sometimes on a daily basis. Maybe I am an old soul or maybe its something bigger. I wish for simplicity and wide open space. I don’t dream of an augmenting bank account or a fancy car, and though vacationing all over the world sounds great, where do I sign… I don’t need travel to be happy. I dream of a piece of land to call my own… now that I am a wife, OUR OWN. I want to leave something tangible and meaningful for my children. Not just money and of course never debt.


But of something more real than that. Something hard work gave us and they watched their parents build. I want them to be proud of our growth as humans and as homesteaders.

I dream of a family homestead. Of raising and teaching my children to live off the land. Planting respect for the earth and mother nature’s presence inside their hearts. Growing and learning with them. Working the ground side my side with them as they emerge into their own people. Releasing them into the world with the trust and belief that they are prepared for whatever may come. And one day we hope to see our children doing the same with their babies.


Homesteading is not a fad or a phase for us. And believe me, we have had our share of skeptics and their opinions of our life. Folks are just scared of what they don’t know, although in my mind, growing organically from home should be something everyone knows proficiently.

This is our mission, to teach our kids, and hopefully some of you folks reading.


Continually learning and being open minded to possibilities has fueled our homestead and our desire to now teach others. It feels good to learn new things, especially skills and trades valuable to this lifestyle.

Spencer and I want to leave something for future generations. A place our loved ones can come back and visit. And see where they came from.

So, whenever I ask myself why the hell am I doing this, the argument with my conscience is short. My heart and my mind know why we live this life. Why we pour our blood sweat and tears into our animals. Why we have to leave social events early to feed said animals, just to wake up even earlier to feed them again. And why we don’t vacation often (know a farm sitter…??) And now you know why we do it to.


Some look at this life as full of complications, we see it as a privilege we are so lucky to have. I wouldn’t trade our crazy farm for anything… All 15 chickens, 4 ducks, 3 horses, 3 dogs, and 1 cat of it!!! This is my family, my life, my passion and I’m sticking to it.

Peace and Love.