Wednesday, November 23, 2011

(AF) Blasted Chickens!!

It was far too hot this past summer for tomatoe plants to do any more other than sit there looks scraggly and try to stay alive. But as Fall set in and the rain came, they perked up, began to bloom and started setting loads of tomatoes. But as the tomatoes began to get up to any size, the frosts came. So, determined to get at least a handful of fresh, home grown, vine-ripened tomatoes, I have been going out there every time it even hints of dropping below freezing and lovingly covering my big, beautiful tomato plants up with thick blankets, carefully tucking them in.

I have one plant in particular that I have given extra attention to as it was a Cherokee Purple (heirloom) and I not only was drooling at the thought of munching on a few tomatoes from that plant, but I wanted to make sure I got at least one good one to save back seeds for next year. They may be ugly tomatoes, but the flavor just can't be beaten! I have even covered the plants over with netting to keep my free range chickens and the wildlife from bothering them.

But when I went outside this morning to check on my beautiful little tomatoes, those blasted chickens had managed to get up under the netting and pig out on two of my very best ones!    I have three sets of chickens, each to serve a different purpose. Two of those sets are already in pens, but the third have been free-range. I am working on refurbishing an old pen to move them to so they will leave my veggies alone, but I got side-tracked from it. I only had a few things growing at the moment so the chicken pen got pushed to the bottom of the list since I didn't think I would really need it much until next year's growing season was here. Looks like I will either have to put a rush on getting that pen finished, or pull the remainder of the tomatoes and let them ripen in the house. Judging by next week's predicted nightly temps, I probably better just pull my tomatoes off and let the chickens continue to clean the yard of ticks so they don't overwinter.

Although free-range chickens produce even more nutritious eggs, I think mine are going to have to all go in pens most of the time so that I can also have fresh veggies. I will just have to make it a point to feed them a variety of scraps.
Look at all those big, beautiful seeds I missed out on!

2 comments:

  1. I just found your blog and I'm enjoying it immensely. So sorry you lost your tomatoes! Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. Thank you so much! I am glad you are enjoying our blog.I do still have a few smaller tomatoes left that are higher up. I will be picking some of them by tomorrow, before a long cold spell hits. I just want to give them every minute possible to grow. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving Weekend, too!

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