While I enjoy the idea of growing my own food, gardening just isn’t really my thing. I tend to get really excited, plant a bunch of stuff, then lose interest midway through the growing season. I think this is likely because I’m just not very good at it.
In the past, my attempts to grow things have largely been a disappointment. Bugs ate my broccoli. My tomatoes got blossom end rot. The wind blew over my pepper plants. The only things I seem to be successful at growing are onions, lettuce, and cucumbers. Basically things that are easy.
Lucky for me, my backyard flock is always ready to lend a helping hand.
The weather here has been absolutely terrible this week. Lots of storms and wind, with the occasional tornado watch nearby. My office doesn’t have a window, so I often don’t even realize the extent of what’s going on outside. Sometimes, if I hear rain pounding on the roof of the building, I’ll walk out to the lobby to check things out. Most of the time, however, I’m so engrossed in work that I’m kind of oblivious to what’s happening around me.
Today, I could hear the wind and rain, so I realized there was a storm brewing, but it didn’t seem so bad those few times I walked to a window to check things out. I saw photos of nearby towns in my newsfeed and also knew that the town where I work had dismissed school early. Those should have been my clues that the storm was worse than I feared. It wasn’t until my mom called to let me know that my chickens were running around the yard that I fully understood just how strong the winds were.
Saturday was a beautiful day, so I thought I’d spend some extra time outside. The yard looks like a chicken’s idea of paradise, with weeds popping up all over. Because our chickens live in an enclosure and are not free range, I decided to gather some of their favorites.
Dandelion greens and flower heads are quickly gobbled up, so I carefully pulled some and tossed them in my bucket. Most people detest dandelions growing in their lawns, but I’m always careful to leave the root. This allows them to continue to grow and spread.
Next up was clover. It grows in abundance in certain parts of the yard, and I was able to add quite a bit to my growing collection of weeds. I looked for plantains, but it must be too early for those. The few I did find were too small to harvest.
The last thing I gathered was the favorite—chickweed. Sometimes I think there is more chickweed in the yard than grass. It grows thick and lush, spreading out like a blanket. It also replenishes itself quickly, so there’s no need to be careful. I yanked up giant handfuls and threw them in my bucket.
When I was finished, I had two large buckets full of weeds for the hens and ducks. I thought they’d be happy to see me!