Friday, October 09, 2009

Chicken Moats



I know it must've been a very long time ago in The Mother Earth News when I first read about chicken moats, because I didn't even have chickens then, nor my other 38 children, yet it has always been in the back of my mind. With Scotty and Jonathan's help, I did sequester two hens and a rooster into a 50' moat/run, standing there trying to figure out how to run it the entire perimeter of the Big Back Garden and Fruit Orchard. I can do this, I'll haunt Craig's List for used fencing, I'm strong and motivated, knowing this'll keep insect pests, unwanted weed seeds, and, most importantly, deer out of the gardens.

Deer are reluctant, maybe even unable, to jump a parallel fence with a three foot space between it, needing an expanse of space in which to get up their speed anyway, and I have woods surrounding most of this already fenced in area. I used to keep guinea hens up there, might do so again as they're so noisy, the marauding deer'll have to run far the other way.

One garden moat builder even put concrete culverts, a chicken underpass, under gates to ensure continuous fencing with underground areas. Hmmm.......

On one side I have a wall of kudzu clambering up the trees, even sporadically blooming, and honestly, I'm never happier than when I'm enclosed in this area, surrounded by nature, towering pines, listening to the birds, and enjoying the continuously comforting scent of wild honeysuckle. I catch myself smiling, and after so much stress for so very long, it just feels good to be less emotionally burdened.

I must now have about 35 gardens beds, permaculture, and I just keep dragging home coffee grounds, manure, wood chips and sacks of leaves I see curbside when I go to town, knowing I gotta feed the soil that feeds me. My garden beds range between 5 feet (a little too wide) and 30-50' long. They've just grown and grown over the years. The dirt was red clay, but 17 years of compost and other organic matter has beautifully transformed the soil.


A wonderful football game yesterday, the middle school team is now 5-0, Chuy had a kickoff, then sped across the field to tackle the one who'd caught the ball, Daniel catching it on video with his Iphone. I don't know how to upload it here.

Ending the evening at Jonathan and Scotty's soccer game, they won as well, still undefeated, Scotty in particular is becoming very aggressive and dependable on the field.

Nando turns 8 today, my youngest son, it's been a long time since a youngest son wasn't a baby. He's asking me to take him to a used gaming store so he can pick out more games than if I took him to a real store. Good choice, son.

Heck, Daniel, now 24, used to be my baby, now just two months from UGA graduation, heading off as an officer in the Georgia Army National Guard, I just don't even allow myself to think about where he'll go.

I want to end this post, asking adoptive moms to pass on this link. A mother, a reader here of my blog, has faced a hellish situation and this child of hers cannot come home again. Somehow, some way she needs to find a family that will deal with his behaviors. Best would be a family with no younger children. She's asked me to ask you all to pass this link everywhere you can think of that might help. Prayers are, of course, a necessity.