Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Au Natural Park Wife

I would not have ever imagined while living in downtown Memphis or working and playing all over the South that I would marry a park ranger and live 35 miles from the largest "city".

Whenever mom sees someone that I went to high school with, she says, "oh, she is doing great, she has a wonderful husband, 2 of the greatest little boys, and you know what, she has chickens." Can you imagine what goes through these people's heads? From head cheerleader, debutante, college soccer player, professional public relations practitioner to the chicken lady.

Anyway, we do have laying hens for fresh eggs (about 6 eggs a day) and during the summer we run about 100 meat chickens, pastured poultry. What that means in layman terms (for the non-chicken owners out there), we raise chickens directly on green pasture which allows the birds to receive a significant amount of pasture forage as feed. They are moved on to fresh grass twice a day in a floorless pen so they are raised in a cleaner, healthier environment. Then, after about 6 weeks, it is slaughter day. This is not my favorite day of the year, but it is worth it to have healthy, non-steroid, arsenic, and whatever else filled chickens. Yes, we do have the equipment so don't think I am sitting there plucking chickens, now that would be something to tell my high school friends.

Prior to preparing our garden for planting, we move our laying hens and the pesky rooster into the floorless pen on our garden spot. They are able to forage around, work on some of the weeds and leave their droppings behind to fertilize.

I just finished tilling the garden (for the second time) and am getting ready to plant soon. I can't wait for fresh tomatoes to use in my salsa!

You can see the chicken pen in the far back left corner of the garden.

How are your gardens going?
The Park Wife


Pam said...

Salsa sounds awesome.

Take some close up pictures of the chickens for me sometime. I think chickens are hilarious.

OKGardners said...

I am so proud of you that you are a great wife, Mom and homemaker. You ARE a lot like my daughter (B) in Memphis. She loves her life and apologizes to no one for how she lives her life.

More power to you, young lady.

Betty in Oklahoma

Blessed said...

We can't plant anything yet... hopefully soon!

Flying Squirrel Fan said...

Have I ever told you about my pet chicken Quickster? Raising a chick in a bedroom for 6 weeks...as my college roommate said, I had a wholesome childhood. Definitely fond memories for the little guys!

Catty Ax Lady said...

Well I have gotten my seeds, and plan on preplanting soon, but my backyard is a full lake right now, so I have to let the soil drain a bit before we'll be able to till and plant. I can't wait though.

Yours looks awesome!! You are truly an amazing woman!!

Anonymous said...

So...how does a chicken plucker machine work? We have chickens too. We only have 9 (including the rooster) and they have ended up as pets since they all have names. My youngest named the rooster Stanley Bucky Boy. He is the only nice rooster we have had.


Lisa said...

Hey Stephanie,
I am right there with you. I was going to be a career woman, look at me now! Homeschooling mom 5 kids living in the middle of nowhere, and guess what we are getting chickens too! You know what else, I couldn't imagine my life any other way.

BTW I have now tagged you. Check out my blog for details.

jkrodriguez said...


All those pictures of the chickens and the garden inspired me to get going on a few things I've been slacking on...We've finished the chickens' home when they are ready to be outside, but my garden is...well...I don't have one yet...:) Thanks for your post!