Chicken tractors and mole diggers..

As always space is at a premium here at Riverside and more growing space is always needed. I have decided to add a long narrow border alongside the path that leads to the goat sheds. I have put my little chicken tractor on the area and have let my broody hen and her chicks start to clear the area for they eat all the vegetation I move the coop along…and so on… I shall cover the cleared area with cardboard and cover that with well rotted compost, ready for planting.

Job done!Image

I have had some quite severe problems with moles here this season. They appeared back in September last year and spent most of their time  making molehills on the riverbank.. That was fine.. but now they have moved into my veg beds are are also undermining the newly planted fruit trees that I added to my little forest garden area. So I have bought a couple of solar powered sonic mole repellent units. No new molehills have appeared ..yet!


The veg areas are filling out a bit now.. but it has been incredibly wet and windy here today so some of the plants are looking a little battered.


…the newly planted willow arches are now green and lush!Image

The borage plants are in flower….


One batch of elderflower cordial has already been made.. and as more sweetly scented  flowers open more will be made.. always leaving some behind to form berries for later in the season for elderberry recipes.


Imageand whilst everything grows and blossoms here at Riverside our own latest flowergirl Anemone the goat kid blossoms too.. She is growing fast!


The geese enjoy the sun in-between the rain.. They are moulting at the moment  so we have feathers everywhere…and Holly is STILL sitting on her eggs. x


The vivid magenta sparkly centres of tree spinach brighten up a dull day


Looks like we shall have an abundance of currants..if we get to them before the bird do, when they ripen!


and strawberries too…Not ripe yet ( grown outside, not under glass or plastic) ..but plenty of fruit on the plants, ready to ripen. Every plant is heavy with fruit. Looks to be a bumper year for strawbs!

ImageDespite the unpredictable wet and windy weather lately, there is a feeling of natural richness here. Image

Everything looks healthy, lush and green!


Mizuna doing really well. We cannot eat it as fast as it grows.


and the garlic is due to be harvested soon.


Lupins adorn the orchard wall border.


And I have been very kindly gifted this little polytunnel frame, by my lovely cousin…so next season I should be even more prepared for the growing season..Just need to get the plastic cover sorted asap! (Let me know the cheapest option).


Goosegogs (Gooseberries) are looking good but still unripe. I have four gooseberry bushes here so far.


All in all it is all looking udderly fantastic.


….and I think Anemone (nicknamed Nemmie) agrees 🙂



10 comments on “Chicken tractors and mole diggers..

  1. Nic says:

    Happy, happy illustrations of abundance 🙂 Lovely!

  2. I have a question on the chicken tractor. When you are ready to move it, do you make the chickens go into the coop area and shut it up? At the moment we have a stationary coop/run for our layers, but thinking of making a tractor for raising next years meat chickens

    • Ma Larkin says:

      No I just tilt it up on it’s wheels and slowly move it forward a few paces with them still in the run.. The hens and chicks just move along inside it..You just have to be careful not to lower it onto one of their feet..but they tend to keep out of the way and just concentrate on eating the new grass x.

  3. patriciabull says:

    beautiful photos naomi a nice start to the day looking at them and reading also on each one of them x

  4. Bev Turpin-West says:

    The weather and other stuff has sapped my enthusiasm lately and I have 5 fruit trees sitting in a bucket where they have been for a week. Seeing your little bed of garlic has got me thinking. I can and must get moving!

    • Ma Larkin says:

      The weather does affect how we feel.I had an ‘off day’ yesterday. The wet weather and gusty wind means so little can be done outside. I mucked out the goat sheds in a downpour yesterday afternoon..and got drenched whilst wheelbarrowing their old bedding to the muck heap. The wind blew it everywhere! including all over me!.. I looked like a bedraggled Worzel Gummidge when I finished lol Good luck with the tree planting x

  5. Anne Wilson says:

    Any company that does polytunnels will have the plastic to cover yours, they all charge about the same price. It’s lovely to have a covered area to garden in when the weather is bad, plus getting a early start for things. We are having a very good summer here in Ireland, we have had two droughts this year already, not something you expect here.

    • Ma Larkin says:

      Thanks Anne. Hoping to find the plastic as cheap as I work on an almost non existent Someone said I may get an offcut from a market garden that has lots of big commercial tunnels.. I am keeping my eyes Great that you are having a good growing season has been a bit wet here but mild x

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