After our duck trampled the half-dozen corn seedlings on our last row while circling the chicken tractor, I decided to move the chicken tractor far, far away from the garden. It’s under the grape vines now.
My brain must live in a Disney fantasy farm world, where all plants and animals and hoomans live together in musical bliss.
That’s never been the case on our farm.
Free-range chickens rip up plant starts. Sheep devour kale plants in one bite. Escapee ducks flatten teeny seedlings. Chickens kill bunnies. Bunnies mow down freshly planted herbs.
Yesterday Josh said that he could live without the animals. He would much rather just have the garden.
Yeah, I understand why he said that. The garden is a special place for Josh. And I absolutely adore our garden, too. However…I also love the variety, spontaneity, chaos, and personality that the animals bring to our farm. We don’t binge watch TV, and could care even less about the big screen. But if you were to count up the hours that our family spends watching the animals, you might say we have an addiction.
We’ve loved watching the rabbits + bunnies, sheep + lambs, ducks + ducklings, chickens + chicks. It’s adorable! And if I keep learning and observing, it will be more than just adorable. It will be beneficial.
One of my goals is to better manage our menagerie–to use the strengths of each animal to improve our garden, our pasture, our farm and our lives. We can use the animals to enrich the soil, reduce destructive pests, heat up our compost, enliven the land, and eliminate weeds.
But for now, we’re kicking the duck out of the garden.