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Double Duty

October 2nd, 2012

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful here. It has been raining for the past few days, so when the sun peeked out in the afternoon I grabbed my Ethel gloves and headed outside.

I need to get weeding on the small kitchen garden that’s located right behind the house. In this spot, I’m hoping to plant overwintering spinach, leeks and a few other things. It has to be cleared out before I can plant.

Luckily, most of the weeds were easy to pull because of the moist soil. For those that weren’t, I scored this fabulous vintage hoe and Liberty Tool for only $3 (I know, quite a bargain). Many of my large garden tools are still back in Ohio. The previous owners also left a sad rusty wheelbarrow, which came in quite handy.

The weeds all went into the chicken run to give them something to eat and to keep them busy. They were in chicken heaven. I’m hoping to add lots of weeds and other fodder to the floor of their run.

It was one big mud hole before I started. Hopefully throughout the course of the next month I’ll be able to build up a nice layer of mulch for them to scratch and work through during the winter.

All-in-all, I weeded for about an hour and was able to take three wheelbarrow loads of weeds up to the chickens. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be the same and I hope to finish weeding this garden. There may even be time to get a few things planted! The chicken coop needs cleaned first though, that’s on the top of the to-do list.

I’ve never had trouble getting motivated to weed, it’s a chore I always enjoy doing. Now that I’m also gleaning food and entertainment for the chickens it’s even better. I feel like I’m doing double duty!

Do you love or hate weeding?

22 Comments to “Double Duty”
  1. Erika on October 2, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Weeding is so much more enjoyable when you have 20 chickens anxiously awaiting the weeds. We also put shredded leaves/grass clippings in their pen in the fall, by spring it is great compost with added manure, perfect stuff. Can’t wait to see the finished kitchen garden.

    Reply to Erika's comment

  2. Kathi Cook on October 2, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Usually I can’t get myself to go outside and start cleaning up the garden beds, then once out there I can’t stop until my back is sore. Although I procrastinate with these chores,they are so satisfying once I start them.Nothing like a freshly weeded and cleaned up bed. Your chickens most be keeping you busy. They are beautiful.

    Reply to Kathi Cook's comment

  3. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on October 2, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I don’t love it but do it more regularly because of the chickens – every day I find some weeds to take down to their coop (as well as other kitchen scraps/treats). Before we lost our favourites, I did used to love weeding with my friendly girls at my side – the ones we have left as too skitty to hang around.

    As for the chicken floor, we use wood chippings – from our own trees/tidying and acquired in bulk for free from the city’s parks department. The chickens love scratching through them – digging the deepest holes! – and it traps the poo smell well. Of course, the resulting compost is very nice too!

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

    • Susy on October 2, 2012 at 6:34 am

      We’re planning on adding some wood chips too. Good to know it works!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Sherri on October 2, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Oh, your hens will LOVE the weeds and your eggs will reflect the addition of greens to their diet :) I am really excited to watch your progress in your new garden! I also need to clean out our coop but must finish harvesting root crops first before frost sets in (any day now!).

    Reply to Sherri's comment

  5. jennifer fisk on October 2, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I used to hate weeding until I had chickens who just love them. I use a 5 gal bucket to weed into and then dump the contents into their area.
    I just cleaned my hen house for the first time in 1.5 years. I kept stirring the litter and then adding more shavings on top. I also scattered cracked corn in there in the winter so the girls kept it well stirred. They call it the deep litter method and most of the shavings were pretty composted. I dumped the 10 wheelbarrow loads right on the garden, spread them to about 1 inch thick and let the 4 inches of rain over the weekend beat them down. Next comes the goodies from under the rabbit hutches.
    Today, I may make a low hoop for my Kale seedlings and a spinach planting.

    Reply to jennifer fisk's comment

  6. Peggy on October 2, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I used to love weeding when we had chickens but we no longer have chickens… so in all honesty I don’t really care for it too much any longer. And our garden is now in a frightful state due to it. Once the rains stop I’ll definitely be back out there though because I sure do love the looks of a well weeded garden.

    Reply to Peggy's comment

  7. daisy on October 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I adore weeding! I never knew anyone else who enjoyed it. It gives a feeling of satisfaction.

    What’s the best way to wash your Ethel gloves?

    Reply to daisy's comment

    • Susy on October 2, 2012 at 8:45 am

      I usually just throw my gloves in the washing machine with the rags. I dry them on the line. They come out like new, no stiffness at all. That’s one of the features I LOVE about Ethel Gloves!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • KimH on October 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

        Good to know because my gloves are horribly filthy..

        to KimH's comment

  8. Songbirdtiff on October 2, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I don’t mind weeding. I usually wait until the weather is nice and take my time enjoying the weather and working through things in my mind. It’s definitely a nice break from being in front of the computer!

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  9. sharon on October 2, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I can see that you saw the potential in this garden,,which will be a before picture at some point …show us more!!! and by next will be you! I can see they also left it a little disheveled

    Reply to sharon's comment

  10. Margie Clyde on October 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I, too enjoy weeding-it is very satisfying to pull those pesky weeds up by the roots, and yes, my chickens enjoy the results of the weedings. They joined me yesterday in the garden as I cleaned up and readied for next year..I had also cleaned out their coop and was covering the spring bed with the poop-filled bedding…that is until we ran into a ground hornet nest! End of the garden work for us. Need to find a way to get rid of the hornets!

    Reply to Margie Clyde's comment

  11. Meg on October 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Once I get started, I don’t mind weeding – it becomes kind of a zen thing for me. My chickens love weeds and cast offs from the veg garden and I’m happy to have them convert it all to lovely garden manure. After all the recent rain I ended up throwing a couple flakes of straw into their run just to avoid a yucky bog. Once the snow starts to pile up, my chickens won’t step foot into it. They hate snow. Maybe yours will be different.

    Reply to Meg's comment

  12. Laura on October 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    It depends on my mood, honestly. There are days when all I want to do is live in the garden – weeding, pruning, planting and even sleeping. And days when I feel so overwhelmed with the jungle of it that I just want to walk away. I have found that the best meditation I get is when I’m weeding though.

    Reply to Laura's comment

  13. Liz J on October 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I love weeding in the first few months of my vegetable garden, then…it gets too hot…then it gets out of control. Our garden was made in a pasture, so we have lots of grass and weeds. Everything is pretty much cleaned up right now except for the strawberry plants, which are loaded with “hearty pasture grass” that didn’t get pulled since mid July. I am hoping the weeds lessen with time, but I’m not so sure. I do love making something that looks awful, look good ~ weeding falls in that category for sure. I have got to deal with those strawberries….Can’t believe it’s OCTOBER!!! Wish….I had chickens :) Have fun!

    Reply to Liz J's comment

  14. Sincerely, Emily on October 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    I guess I have a love-hate relationship with weeding. We had some rain, so the ground is moist like yours right now and weeding goes quickly and weed GREW quickly too. I know I would enjoy it more if I had chickens to throw it all too. I do take bags of weeds to a friend who has chickens when I see her. That makes me feel better about it. I have an ongoing battle with pricker burs (or sticker burs, not sure what they are called) When the ground dries back out it is like cement and weeding is so so hard to do (like those dang burrs in the lawn). That gardens aren’t so hard because of the amended soil.

    Your chickens look so happy to see your weeds. That has to make you smile and smile.

    Will you take another trip to OH to pick up more things like garden tools?

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

    • Susy on October 3, 2012 at 8:22 am

      Yes, we’ll be taking a trip back to Ohio at the end of October to pick up a few things.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. Joan on October 3, 2012 at 6:38 am

    I really like weeding too. I thought that I was the only one. What I really don’t like is planting seeds. I should love it – the thought of that little seed growing into a marvelous plant that will feed us… But I don’t – I hate figuring out what to plant where, the tediousness of trying to space thinly, watering every day until the seeds come up… Give me weeding any day!

    Reply to Joan's comment

  16. Julie on October 3, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I think weeding is extremely therapeutic. If I’m cranky, I’ll go unleash my mood on the weeds. What I really dislike, though, is when I have a day of gardening planned– and my plans change. So frustrating, but that’s life. I planned to weed and plant the kitchen potager earlier this week, but torrential rain prevented my plans. Still, I’ll never complain about rain.

    I, too, love to watch our girls when I give them their weedy treats. They’re in heaven!

    Reply to Julie's comment

  17. KimH on October 3, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    For me, it depends upon how much time & energy I have.. and how hot it is.. Most of the time I dont mind it… sometimes I even adore it… or really the silent time spent alone… but there are times when Im super busy and have too much to do and I try to accomplish it all..

    I used to be able to do it all but once I hit my 50s, its just not near as easy to do… My body rebels against what my mind wishes to do.. sigh.. I guess thats my lesson for this time period in my life. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  18. Jaye on October 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I’m with you on this! I enjoy it and think of it as therapeutic. The only time I’m frustrated with it is when it gets WAY ahead of me :)

    My chickens love the weeds too and when they can, love to “help” me even more :)

    Reply to Jaye's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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