June 30, 2017
Yard Work Day
Today was a yard work day.
I love yard work day because I love to mow grass. With our push mower, it’s a walking workout where you can sing your lungs out and no one can hear you. Today I was interviewing Ethan while I mowed instead of singing.
The girls love yard work day because after we spend hours yanking stumps and sticks and dead wood out of the ground (this yard was Florida brushland 8 months ago, so it was loaded with hidden spikes where bush stumps stick out of the ground), we can burn them in our fire pit (8 concrete blocks set in the dirt off the backyard in the middle of the dirt pit – I like to pretend that’s the summer kitchen; it might be, someday).
The dogs love yard work day. Primrose likes it because she gets to be outside with us. Sheba gets the whole house to herself – and we’ll come in to find her stretched out on top of the couch with a nest made out of her blanket.
But the critters who make the absolute best of yard work day are the chickens. They follow the mower like rats following the Pied Piper, each hoping to snatch more dislodged bugs and fresh, juicy greens than every other chicken. They race to whoever is raking and scratch the hay all over finding bugs. (10 adult chickens can smooth a leaf pile flat in less than a minute!) They spy a child toting the full hay bucket toward their henhouse – Crow Cackle Cackle! – they call all other foraging chickens as they race back to the henhouse to inspect and rearrange their new hay immediately. Soft grass cuttings make hay. Thicker, brush-type cuttings make the hen yard mulch. We fill this “hen yard mulch” about 6 to 10 inches deep and the chickens continually scratch and add nitrogen to it for a few weeks. We use this finished, fertilizer-infiltrated, shredded indigestible plant material to mulch our bulb beds and for our future garden.
The bonus of yard work day is that everyone feels like we’ve accomplished much, we all clean up, eat dinner, and sleep. The children all go to sleep as soon as they are out of the bath. Even Mom is tired, but after the last outside chore (herding the reluctant chicken flock back into the hen yard for the night), I breathe in the sweet smell of cut grass, fresh earth, and wood smoke. And we finish our yard work day with sticky, gooey roasted marshmallows over the dying fire’s embers.
Working outside always relaxes me. I totally love how when God made us and put us in the perfect environment; perfection was a garden!
Thanks for reading!
Type at you next time…