How beautiful life can be

It’s finally nice enough outside that we can start planting our garden!

I’ve been planning for weeks, what goes where and how I am going to keep them all safe from the claws of the dinosaurs (read: chickens) or the dogs’ digging little spades. When they get too hot they go around looking for loose soil to start digging. They don’t have to dig too much to get to cooler soil, but it’s just enough to make one trip in the yard. Loose soil means they don’t have to waste any more energy and get even hotter, and the best loose soil to play around with is of course in my veggie beds!

Sunday afternoon

Sunday afternoon

You might remember this picture from Bobby’s story where Maya is farther in the picture and Zeus dug himself in the old garlic bed! Little bugger has a great appreciation for my hard work (introduce sarcasm raised eyebrows here). He has no interest in helping with putting the beds back in order nor in helping with the wheelbarrow compost load.

But the chickens could be worse… at least Zeus is one, when the chickens get together and also put their forces together, they manage to deface a raised bed in under an hour! Loose soil is great for creating the perfect spot to dust bathe. They will spend minutes upon minutes twerking their little fluffy butts and turning the soil up. On a hot day, the top layer is very dry and easy to work with and they don’t waste any time to get to work!

chickens in the raised bed

Chickens dust bathing in the same garlic bed

I try to provide adequate dust bathing spots around the property. Chickens take dust baths to rid themselves of little pesky things like lice and fleas. The dusty sand sticks to their hot skin and suffocates the ugly pests! We help the chickens during the first heat wave in early Spring, as they still have winter fluff under their feathers and since the ground is still frozen solid, they need a good dusting. We use a dust-powder from the Feed Supply store and dust them 3 Saturdays in a row (for example we did this in March when we had extremely mild temps… and then the ice storm! uugghhh). We dust them one by one just as they try to come out of the coop for the day. It takes two of us to handle the task, as I, the chicken handler, cannot hold the powder shaker too!

Fun fact: wood ash mixed with fine sand is the best combo to have around the yard for the chickens to dust bathe in. The ash really sticks to them 😀


The garlic bed is one of the nicer beds not protected by the chicken wire. I might just refill it with dirt and wood ash, from our wood stove, and leave it for the beasts. It might keep them distracted from what will be growing in the other beds, behind the wire. Their gourmet taste buds love, in particular, the tomatoes and zucchini.

This year will be a light veggie year. Since the house is up for sale, I want us to focus more on the ‘curb appeal’ work than worrying about weeding the veggie garden on a regular basis. We will plant the regulars like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, some sweet and hot peppers and maybe a few beans. We’ll also have the perennials growing: lovage (my favorite for dressing up soups), pigweed (grandma raised me on pigweed soups lol), peppermint, strawberries, raspberries, and of course rhubarb.

Shannon at Nourishing Days paints such a nice picture of first days of planting. One picture that I look at and think ‘one days my kids will enjoy the dirt and the sun just as much as I do’ and Life will be that much more beautiful!


She Plants


7 Thoughts on “How beautiful life can be

  1. Pingback: Broody-broody-chick-chick III - Caledon Acres

  2. Dust baths. Who knew? Also pigweed. What the world? I plant in Earthboxes (containers). This year I scaled down and only planted tomatoes, herbs, and beans (so far). I always start this way and then just lose it and start planting everything 🙂

    • Laura - CaledonAcres on April 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm said:

      I fear that’s what will happen this year… I get all giddy when the veggie plants start showing up at the nursery and I’ll probably say “meh what’s one extra plant!” and I’ll end up with everything!

      The first time I saw chickens dust bathing I thought they were having a seizure!

      Pigweed was what grew in abundance in my grandma’s yard! And tomatoes – the lady made a mean tomatoe sauce!! 🙂

  3. I need to try one of those dust baths. What with the drought, that would save water!

  4. I really love these glimpses in to your world! It’s amazing that we’ve connected over blogging, and yet live in such different settings. I don’t know the first thing about chickens and my husband and I are the opposite of green thumbs, so i definitely respect what you’re doing. That garden you’re planting sounds yummy! Nothing better than fresh fruits and veggies from the garden! When I was young, my father and I planted some veggies in a tiny lot in our back yard. One of the ‘crops’ was corn. We had these huge corn stalks and it looked sort of bizarre seeing as we were living in a city suburb and our back yard is NOT very big. That was pretty much the last time I attempted a garden. Maybe I’ll give it another try in the future! Anyway, I like that I’m learning from your blog and getting a view in to things that are just so different from this German life I’m living!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words!! I love to have all of you here, and I have such a personal connection with you, especially… It’s probably because Germany is so much like Romania and your stories take me back in time. And then Buffalo is like Toronto too hehe 🙂

      I’m preparing a 3 part mini-series about one side of a chicken’s life! get your notepad out 😉

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