for several days running, my chickens have defeated the exceptional job done by *h of fencing them out of the garden.
perplexingly enough, it isn’t even the youngest and most spry chickens who accomplish this the most often, but one of the oldest and hugest, who seems to defy the laws of physics and contort her gigantic self through miniscule openings to hang out with the veggies. regardless of the time of day, i will invariably come outside and find agnes hard at work scratching up mulch or slithering under the chicken wire i laid across the top of one of the beds where i just planted new seeds.
the first few times i caught her i went into the garden area and banged pots and pans and jangled keys and did lots of potentially frightening things to convince her that the garden was an awful and terrible place for a chicken to be.
that worked for about 12 hours until the draw of the mulch proved too much for poor agnes, and back she went for more.
it’s not as if they don’t have dirt to dig in, or wood chips to play in, or even plants to uproot and kill in other places; please remember that these girls free range and can create havoc in any number of other places.
and it’s not a case of “forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest” or any other such claptrap, because the veggie plants don’t actually have any veggies on them yet, and she hasn’t even really eaten the plants. she mostly just patrols the area, digs around, and looks very much aggrieved when i feed the other chickens and she can’t remember where the exit is…
which is all very cute as a chicken mommy, but all very tragic as a real-world mommy in one particular sense: if we ever needed to really rely on this garden for food we would be in serious trouble.
because unless i was willing to fence the garden under and over and upside down, and unless i was willing to reinforce the sides of the fence, and dig down the perimeter and such, we would pretty much have total crop failure.
i may be the first to say this to you, but folks, there are critters in the world.
yes, there are rats and rabbits and squirrels and mice and raccoons and possums and hawks and ravens and cats and other whatnots out there who want your garden, perhaps more than you do.
for those of you who want to garden in order to Prepare (yes, with a capital P), it’s great to have a dry run when times are good and the grocery stores are stocked so you can see where you are vulnerable. you can tighten up security and get your affairs in order so your pantry stays stocked in Hard Times.
but i’m one of those people who just can’t get myself to rise to the occasion on this front. there’s a lot i will do to keep my family ready for stuff, but creating a post-apocalyptic garden just isn’t one of them.
so, these days i laugh at the chicken antics and wait for the time that produce will be cheaper at the farmer’s market so i can stock up and dehydrate or can it. i hope times don’t get too tough too soon, and that if they do my kids won’t eat too much.
and that’s only half a joke.
whenever i go to the gun range i buy some extra bullets, and i continue to drop hints to *h that the perfect birthday gift for the wife who has everything is an automatic weapon 🙂
and i realize that at the end of the day nothing is really within my control anyway, so i might as well enjoy my family and my chickens and my garden.
even if it’s pecked over and kinda lame.
isn’t that a great metaphor for life?