Despite the heat and dry conditions over summer, the garden has been providing us with some good harvests.
The garden still needs LOTS of work, alot more organic matter incorporated into the soil, ALOT. There are only so many trips with the wheelbarrow that I can manage per day, and the heat lately has got me out of the habit. I don't mind hard work, but pushing a heavy wheelbarrow up our hill on a hot day isn't much motivation!!! We are in the planning stages of a very big and thoughout chicken pen/vegy garden set up. Its basically the 'chicken tractor' that is often mentioned in permaculture books. There will be one largish under cover shed, where the hens will roost and get out of the rain, with a reasonable sized yard attached to it. Then comming off this will by long beds, which will be the vegetable garden beds, so when the harvesting is done, the chickens can be let into one of these beds and clean up, turn over and fertilize etc. If everythign is off limits, then they will be restricted to just the yard and shed. Hopefully it will solve a few problems that I have - increase the fertility of the soil, more area (and therefore food for the chickens) and stop the chickens from destroying my current garden when I let them out (very important to me!!!). Its going to be a fair bit of work, but hopefully will give us a very productive garden.
Speaking of chickens, we have another 2 hens gone broody. Hopefully tonight we will move them to our chick hatching pen (the old rabbit cage). Our daughter is pretty excited about this, and is talking constantly about chicks hatching etc. Not sure though about the timing, it seems a bit late now, as the chicks will hatch in autumn, but perhaps it will work out well, they will probably be ready to lay in spring.
As I am writing this we are being blessed with some lovely rain, and lots of it. It rained all night, and the day before we got a heavy downpour (which included very large hail - like golf balls!). Its just lovely, and at least I get out of watering the garden!!! I guess I should get the trusty wheelbarrow out and do some manure collecting instead!