The Pumpkin Patch and My Girls

For a number of years I have been thinking about growing pumpkins. I use a lot of them in the Fall to decorate, and they are also very good to eat. They store well and they are fun. But the idea of digging a big garden has put me off. Pumpkins like to sprawl out and they need lots of space. Even with permaculture it would be a lot off cardboard, etc. So I have never done it.

Then this year I started thinking about my girls. I had always intended that they would be free range chickens. But swooping hawks and other predators have given me second thoughts. I also have gardens everywhere and fencing each of them to protect them from scratching hens would be a lot of work and I don’t want caged gardens. My girls have a run and a coop (Cluckingham Palace) but they don’t have access to grass or worms. And they get bored. I would need a moveable fence, so I could let them scratch away at the grass for a while and them move them to a new place and let the grass recover. Unless I WANTED the grass cleared…for a pumpkin patch perhaps…wait a minute. I am starting to get an idea!

The girls would be more than happy to remove the grass from the pumpkin patch, and they would fertilize it as they went! Yes!

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So I staked out an area.

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Got some poles and wire fencing.

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And got some help. Bill agreed to help put it all together.
We used wooden stakes left over from another project for the corners, and metal poles in between.

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It went up quickly.

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I put in some water and a nesting box and we put bird netting over the top. Clothespins held it in place. We left a bit of a gate with the overlapping wire.

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I went up to get the girls. They were a bit suspicious.

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But they LOVED it! They were very happy girls…doing what chickens do.

It is still a few weeks before pumpkins can go in….plenty of time. I will start the pumpkins in bottomless pots (an idea from Bealtaine Cottage) and when the girls are finished, I will put down some compost and use the pots instead of hills. Put some straw down around the pots and I have my pumpkin patch!

Thanks girls!

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About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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7 Responses to The Pumpkin Patch and My Girls

  1. CLEVER!! They do look happy!

  2. wspines says:

    Great job, they will clear that for you in no time. See you Tuesday night,

  3. pattigail says:

    I think they will. Such clever and useful girls! See you Tuesday. Patti

  4. Oh happy days – they can scratch and nibble to their hearts content. Well done.

  5. Pingback: Spring to Summer..too fast! | Life at Brookwood Shire

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