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!|