One of the really nice things about getting good hens that are already laying is that they're laying. They have gotten comfortable very quickly here to the point that they're laying eggs. One of the reasons Michelle Chandler was willing to part with these hens is a few of them were broody. We're hoping that Boris still has the capacity to breed his hens, though it's not certain given how hard he's still limping around. With his balance I can't really imagine he'd do very well at mounting hens. If not when one of the hens goes broody again we'll have to get some fertilized eggs from friends, and raise a whole bunch of new chicks to fill out this larger coop. I'm also going to have to make sure that I fill in the chinks in the walls so there aren't drafts at the level that the chickens are living during the winter. Ventilation is certainly important, but you can't just have drafts once the hard weather comes.
I'd promised you photos of some mulched beds, and here is one. We didn't quite get the mulch down properly yet as there's some weeds managing to poke through, but we're going to aggressively weed these beds to avoid anything taking over. You can see a few Popsicle sticks next to pepper plants in this photo. There are peppers every 18 inches across the top and bottom of the bed, the rest of the random greens are going to go when we have a few minutes here and there. Basically every time I walk by I reach in and pull up a few weeds. I'm trying to have the you can pause for 90 seconds to weed every pass mentality so we don't fall behind.
Here is the fully carved out terracing out of the front beds. So far we have I think 20 tomato plants, and around 36 pepper plants in these beds. There is also garlic up in the top bed, and over to the right this weekend we're going to be putting in beans and other staple crops as we see fit. I'm also thinking about expanding out these terraced beds to the left (south) side of this shot since they work very well getting over 6 hours of sun per day. Next step, thoroughly weed out the asparagus bed, and finish mulching the top bed, and cut most of the mustard greens to saute and freeze, and get plants in the diminished hugulkulture bed, and put more manure on that bed, and . . .
I think we may have a lot to do on our hands!