Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tour De’ Coop Tour with Kathy's Coop at Rocky Toad Road Iris Farm


My family went on the Tour De’ Coop in Raleigh, North Carolina for the first time this year. It was held on May 17 and showcased 26 chicken coops. We picked out the coops that intrigued us the most. We wanted to absorb as much information as possible since we are in the process of starting our own chick coop. Our own coop adventure begins this Saturday when we pick up a coop that was free on Craigslist!

The first tour we went on was Kathy's Coop at Rocky Toad Road Iris Farm. Their chicken coop in my opinion was very sophisticated. They had 11 chickens of several varieties. The chicken coop was created by recycling pallets. It has some nice added features.


The chicken coop was surround by screening to keep unwanted animals out. The ground was covered with wood chips.


The chicken coop had a nesting box designed for comfort. A wooden beam was installed in front of the nesting box to make it easily accessible.

chicken with cabbage

Who new that cabbage could be a toy? Well, for this chicken it clearly is!


Another neat feature is that the food is in a metal box and opens by stepping on it.


Fresh eggs are a sight to behold especially when you know the chicken are happy and healthy.


The chickens helped manage pests within the garden and consumed vegetable and fruit scraps around the exterior of the garden. These chickens were finishing off some cantaloupe.

chicks cantelope

Evan the baby chicks joined in.



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The main attraction for Kathy’s coop is 1000's of tall-bearded iris. They are full of beauty and color. Before moving on to the next chicken coop we took a look at the variety of colors. Surveying the flowers was a nice conclusion to our first chicken coop tour of the day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

SHAPE Eco Farm Garden May


It is amazing to watch plants grow. In a months time they can literally take off like plants on steroids. It amazes me how seeds can become a large bushy or tall leggy plant complete with fruit, vegetables, or other appetizing things. The photo above was taken today on May 14. The photo directly below was taken on May 5. It that short span of time look how much bigger the plants are plus I added a bunch of plants! My banana peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini all have flowers. I’m also growing eggplant, collards, lettuce, cucumbers, squash, cabbage, swiss chard, and beans in the fenced in garden. I wouldn’t be surprised if I left out something since I have so many plants! I also have a host of flowers, sunflowers, and herbs. I’ve already almost filled up all the space! It takes a dedication of about an hour each day to water the vegetable garden, kitchen garden, and flower garden. I believe it will be worth it. I’ve already had about 3 salads and leaves for our wraps. I harvested collard greens yesterday.


About two weeks earlier.


This portion of one of my rows was planted by a friend of mine whose husband attends Southeastern Seminary. I’m thrilled she is participating in my garden work.


We transported and moved by hand more than half of our compost pile.


For the kitchen garden, we used PVC pipes with plastic screening on the 4’ x 8’ box and chicken wire on the 4’ x 4’ box.



Before the ticks started to multiply, I made several trips to the back of our property to gather pine needles to use as mulching.


Butterfly season is beginning here in North Carolina. This Black Swallowtail I released April 20th after it had stayed in the chrysalis all winter long. I hope there will be many more. You can purchase the book I wrote on butterflies as you prepare your own garden and want to learn more about butterfly life cycles and how to raise them.