Solar Tracking

Solar Tracking
How low can you go? Snow and ice and cancelled school.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Crop Rotation with Chickens


   
        It’s not easy to plan a large veg garden around a chicken tractor. When we first acquired two hens, we had three 4 by 10 foot beds and they could settle in by November if need be and stay until late March. Now we have nine beds, mostly 10 by 4 but several 8 by 4, and it has grown more complicated. The key is to remember your harvest dates, rather than trying to rotate the cole crops every three years. This year, the arrangement looks something like this:

Bed A: dried beans, probably Indian Woman, and some edamane beans
Bed B: Spring crops—mustard, peas, lettuce, radishes, kale, broccoli. All of which will be eaten by July (or August, if the kale lasts that long).
Bed C: Garlic and ceremonial wheat, to be replaced by sprouting broccoli and fall cabbage.
Bed D and E: potatoes.
Bed F: pole beans and yellow wax beans

Turn the corner and move up the other side, to….

Bed G: vines—zucchini, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers
Bed H: Summer crops—chard, lettuce, beets, collards, fennel bulbs, and more broccoli
Bed I: Alliums and roots—scallions, leeks, beets, carrots, parsnips (if they sprout).

Tomatoes and peppers grow out front  where the driveway used to be in black tubs.

Next year, each shifts over bed, so garlic is planted where the potatoes were this year, etc.

The chicken coop will be placed on the spring crop bed in early September, when I go back to school and they can no longer run all over the yard anyways. A month later, all of the beds will be covered in leaves for the winter.

This system works well for us because it leaves beds free at predictable times. When I tried to plant by crop, there were always a few random plants still producing right when the bed needed to be chicken  tractored.


Weekend Breakfasts….

Pancakes—from the 1955 Betty Crocker’s cookbook

1.5 cups of flour—half wheat, half low gluten white
1 t BP
.5 t BS
.5 t  salt

1.25 cups of buttermilk
1 egg
2T oil

Add berries from the freezer….This is just enough for two people, at least in our house.

Waffles—from Molly Katsen’s Sunlight Café

 PREHEAT THE WAFFLE IRON!

1 c rolled oats
1 c flour (I sometimes use half whole wheat)
.5 c oat bran
.75 t salt
1 t BP
.25 t BS
2 T sugar

1.5 c buttermilk
.5 c water or milk
2 eggs
3 T oil

Once again, add berries from the freezer to the batter, esp. raspberries.

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