It is incredible to witness the power of ecology; the power of natural systems and how they innately create balance and abundance through the cycles of life and death. We have had the honor of partnering up with 17 chickens to nurture a garden space.
Johnny hand-crafted two chicken tractors that we have moved daily for the last 5 months. The chickens cleared the grass and plants, scratching up the soil and leaving their manure as fertilizer. Chicken tractors mimic the natural movement of animals when they live in a dynamic ecosystem with predators. This goes for all animals; without predators to keep them bunched up and moving, they end up eating all the things they like, leaving clumps of the things they don't like, often overgrazing and damaging the soil. This is the case with many modern animal practices.
The chicken tractors give the land an opportunity to rest, restore and grow. In the future, once we secure a larger piece of land, we will do the same with cattle, a technique called rotational grazing.
We are also growing wild crops for our chickens to self-forage. This includes flax, amaranth, berries etc. Now that the garden is all cleared and planted we will move the chickens into this "feasting field" as we've named it.
Next spring we will partner with 50-100+ chickens to bring wildly magnificent eggs to our community. This is just the beginning of our restoration work and our dream to co-cultivate the most nutrient dense, healing food with our animal and plant friends.
Partnering with animals is the key to healing our degraded lands and bodies.
After our chickens finished with the garden space we began designing and implementing a wonderfully playful garden. I spend a lot of sunsets meditating in this space. It's been unreal how much spiritual growth has come from my involvement with this whole ecosystem. Watching the chickens do their work and seeing the small seeds I nurtured come into form has been illuminating.
It has revived my belief in abundance, especially abundance apart from the dominant systems. People growing plants and co-cultivating land is one of the most powerful forms of activism because it builds resiliency and independence in communities.
Many more projects to come...