Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Lazy Gardener's Amazing Chicken Tractor

The obvious benefit of chickens on the homestead is fresh eggs, less obvious is their use in the garden. Chickens are awesome at cultivating soil with their scratching, catching bugs, feasting on weeds, and fertilizing your garden, if they are contained. But free to roam they will wreak havoc to your garden quickly. Containing them in a moveable pen with an open bottom allows them to scratch and work the soil.

Key benefits of chicken tractors in the garden: 

  • Pest Control: The chickens will eat insects and dig up grubs. They also consume diseased plant residue.
  • Weeding: Weeding occurs as the chickens peck and scratch the soil. This process removes all plant matter, and seeds; thereby, clearing the pen of current and future weeds. The soil stays relatively weed free for about 2-4 months.
  • Fertilizer: Chicken manure is a great fertilizer for your soil which is able to supply the nitrogen needs of a small garden. Phosphorus, and potassium found in their feed, are also in their manure. The soil is ready for planting in two weeks after moving the chickens to a new location. The waiting period is necessary so the excess nitrogen can bind with carbon in the soil otherwise you will burn your new plants. This initial nitrogen burn also helps clear the plot of weeds.
  • Food: The hens will supply you with a steady stream of fresh eggs.

It's enclosed in such a way that protects them from weather and predators 
while leaving the bottom open.

 chicken tractor - open (or 2x4" wire) on the bottom so chickens can scratch
100′s Of Free Chicken Coop PlansChicken tractorchicken tractor

'The Girls' on bug patrol.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What does freedom mean to you?

American Dream or Nightmare?

We get up every morning, put on the clothes we buy for work, leave our homes and drive to work in cars we're still paying for -- so that we can pay for the clothes and the car and the big house that we leave vacant all day, so we can afford to live in it.... 

It's like the old anti-drug commercial. "I do cocaine, so I can work harder, so I can make more money, so I can buy more cocaine" he says as he runs frantically in tighter and tighter circles. 

Adam Baker's 20 minute TEDx Talk is spot on and worth listening to. Is your 'stuff' holding you back? Is it really worth the price we are paying for it? 

What does freedom mean to you?

"There are thousands and thousands of people out there
 living lives of quiet, screaming desperation 
who work long, hard hours, at jobs they hate, 
to enable them to buy things they don't need
 to impress people they don't like."

 - Nigel Marsh

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cob and Earthen Homes

I used to keep an inspiration board. It was a clunky poster board covered with magazine cut-outs of a mish-mash of things that gave me inspiration.
Pinterest is like an online inspiration board with categories so you can look at them together as a whole, but each picture is linked to it's source for further details. I would love to have an earthen home, explore living and sleeping grounded to the earth. There's a lot of scientific evidence  supporting earthing

My Cob or Earthen Home on Pinterest.

The most immediately noticeable effect people report from being grounded is that they ‘feel better’. This has been described as a feeling of greater peace within themselves, feeling calmer with reduced stress levels. If there is pain present then often this is reduced or disappears completely.

People who notice negative effects from using computers or other electrical equipment report a reduction or elimination of these effects when grounded.

With regular grounding, numerous health benefits have been observed, such as:

  • Improved immune function
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved sleep
  • Rapid healing of injuries
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Harmonisation and stabilisation of the body's basic biological rhythms
  • Accelerated recovery from intense athletic activity
  • Reduction of inflammation
  • Reduced stress / anxiety / irritability
  • Reduced electrosensitivity