Most mornings, before I have even had a sip of coffee, I tighten up the tie on my fuzzy purple bathrobe and head out the back door. I slip my feet into the chicken themed gardening clogs and walk past this sign my husband and I purchased on a trip to the Redwoods last summer.
A couple of years ago, our family decided to ratchet up what we grew in our backyard. We already had a small vegetable garden, and we had some fruit trees and shrubs: cherry, blueberries and raspberries. But we wanted to do even more. So, we dubbed our backyard the "Micro Farm" and got to work. We have since doubled our vegetable gardening space, added a few grape vines and some columnar apple trees, incorporated more blueberries and planted some new-to-us-berries called Honey Berries. We also added chickens back into our landscape. Our family had kept chickens in the past and then took a break from them. But a year or so ago we decided it was time to get another flock.
So with the moon setting on my right and the sun rising on my left, I cross the yard to greet these feathered ladies each day. I love that they are always waiting at the door to be let out each morning. And even though I am cold, I grateful that the sun rises later in the winter so that I don't have to get out there so early!
Their coop is one we constructed for very little money. Friends of ours had just bought a house and there was an old coop on their property that they were planning on getting rid of. We asked if we could take it off their hands, and they were more than happy to oblige. For the cost of a bag of screws, my guys salvaged the best pieces of the old hen house and made a very sturdy new house for our chickens. And since this was now our "Micro Farm," I thought the girls' coop needed a barn quilt block. I painted this little Churn Dash Block and attached it to the front of their coop.
It's been nice to have chickens in our yard again. There is the obvious reason in that we have fresh eggs again, but they are also great characters to have in the garden. The hens are pretty social, inquisitive and talkative. You certainly know when they've laid an egg because they stand at the top of their ramp and cluck their announcement to all who will listen.
See what I mean by inquisitive? She will stare you down until you hand over her morning ration of scratch. Or, on especially cold mornings, we will fix them up a bowl of oatmeal. They love those mornings.
Once their feed is set out, their water dish filled, and a few handfuls of scratch tossed on the ground, they are content for the day. I move back inside and pour a cup of coffee. Our pup Sadie joins me on the couch while I snuggle under a quilt, and we enjoy the rest of our morning.