We recently moved from a tiny house in the middle of town to a big house on 15 acres. The closest town is considerably smaller than anywhere we have ever lived. I mean small. Tiny. One gas station with one pump. Zero grocery stores. Two bars. Four churches. Post office.
The house came with a chicken coop and 21 chickens. 20 laying hens and a rooster. For my birthday my parents gave me 5 bantam chickens. One of them is a rooster named Woody.
He makes my heart melt!! His cock-a-doodle-doo sounds like a squeaky dog toy. His wings hang down a bit so they look too big for his body. My husband may wake up one morning to find Woody in bed with us, that’s how much I love him.
The pasture is in CRP right now. That means that until September 2013 we can’t do anything with it. When the CRP contract is up I am planning to fence it in and get a pig or two, a calf each spring and 3 nigerian dwarf goats.
The one and only downside to this place so far is the garden. The soil is clay. I have dug and tilled and worked compost into the soil and so far I have come across zero earthworms. It packs down to cement in just a few days after tilling, especially if it gets wet.
I planted 26 tomato plants and 6 have survived. The peas, onions, potatoes, peppers and zucchini seem to be doing well. All 6 squash plants died, the corn was eaten by the chickens, and most of the herbs just never came up. I have major plans for raised beds next year!! I will keep working organic matter into the clay, chicken bedding, grass clippings, compost. We are working on a fence around it and next spring I may get 2 pigs and let them root the garden area for the summer. Any ideas on what to do to amend the clay soil?