Today Frost had his 8th birthday. He had a lovely day with a few friends over for a swimming party followed by an informal and fiercely fought nerf gun battle that lasted a few hours. I shall make a special post about the birthday when I have downloaded some pictures. For now, I shall post a few garden shots to catch you up on the battle between the kitchen garden and the chickens.
Round One - to the chickens
While Dad was here he planted a number of different seeds - rocket, lettuce, carrots and peas. Of these crops, the chickens have proven most partial to rocket (arugula). Although it sprouted well and grew to a leafy 2 " it is no more. It has been eaten to the ground by the chickens on their daily hour or so out of the coop. We try and watch them but it takes only a few seconds for them to eat through a foot of young plants. This picture shows the stumps of the rocket crop.
The lettuce has fared better since I put a wire mesh over it. They still try and eat it but few leaves are close enough. Sadly, the shade from the tree and perhaps the lack of soil enrichment has led to slow growth in this bed of lettuce:
Round Two - The Beans
The victory has been the beans. Wren picked a packet of bean seed and it has been a bit like Jack and the Beanstalk. The packet SAID bush beans but these things keep on climbing and have produced a lush bed of mixed white, green and purple beans. They were too large for the chickens to do much damage and the beans are almost large enough to harvest. Wren has already eaten a few raw and is very excited to find them. When Dad was here he planted some basil seeds between the rows of beans, expecting them to behave like normal beans. They are overshadowing the basil and still growing strong. These pictures show Wren in the garden watering and holding a bean he has harvested. I hope you can see the beans.