With spring upon us, our veggies are really starting to take off! The list of garden chores to do is similarly growing in size… What can you get done in just a few hours? With a group of motivated, dynamic college students on board, it turns out that you can get a LOT done!
After a great lunch prepared by the Whidbey Insitute’s Chef Christyn Johnson (who knew that a raw chard and kale salad could taste so good?!), we split up into teams, some of us taking on a renovation of the chicken run, and others weeding, harvesting mulch, flipping the compost, and planting potatoes. First, we did a little weeding of the chicken run. The hens won’t eat nettles or comfrey, so a little maneuvering is necessary to crawl in and pull it out.
Next, a chicken culvert was built so the gate could open. Then we could extend the chicken run up to the greenhouse. The run now loops almost entirely around the garden! We also added a skirt around the chicken coop. The coop was raised up onto cinder blocks last week, to deter pests from entering the coop, and to give the hens a dry, cool place to take dust baths.
While Team Chicken was occupied, another group started harvesting mulch from a slope adjacent to the garden. Woody debris from land cleanups has been tossed onto this slope for decades, and the decomposing debris has become rich mulching material. We used the mulch on our herb beds.
Some volunteers also flipped our compost pile, weeded, and planted potatoes!
Whew! All that hard work done and in only a few hours. Much gratitude to our amazing volunteer team from the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School from Edmonds Community College.
~~~ Alexa MacAulay