Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chickens, alfalfa, clover and raised beds

Alfalfa - Picture Source: http://forages.tennessee.edu

Well, as I posted yesterday, I ordered my seeds for the fall (late summer planting). Of the seeds I ordered, alfalfa and sweet clover were my new cover crops to try out. Never grown the alfalfa before, but the clover every spring in my front and back yard.

My thinking on the cover crops is planting them in my raised beds right after we pull up the summer crops. Mixing them to get a good diverse mix in each bed and growing them out to 3-5 inches. After they have grown out to what I'm looking for, I will bring the chicken in for some wining and dining (well, maybe just the dining). Let them eat to there hearts content and turn the soil over.

Sweet yellow clover - Picture source: http://bolincreek.org

Turning the soil right after the chickens have done there business will increase the fixed nitrogen in the soil and continue to add a rich layer of organic matter. The organic matter will continue to break down all winter and be ready for a spring planting.

You can see the difference in egg color. The big one from the grocery store and the other two pastured raised (probably pullet eggs). Picture Source: http://suvirsaran.typepad.com

Not only is it good for the soil, but this will add to the rich nutrient content of the chicken eggs. Getting a deep orange color to the yolk and a rich egg flavor. I love these symbiotic relationships. It benefits everyone, or thing.


"Good is the enemy of great."
~ Volataire

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog!! Alfalfa is really good for health. Your thought processing is wonderful. The way you tell the thing is awesome.