High Soil PH

About half way through the growing season, the lackluster performance of some of our veggies prompted us to pull out the test kits and check our soil out. The most important discovery is that throughout our garden, the soil PH is far higher than it should be, over 8 in some places. Most plants perform best in a range of 6 to 7, with some acid loving plants performing well as low as 5. An elevated soil PH can keep plants from absorbing available nutrients, which inhibits growth, invites pest problems, decreases yield, and makes the food produced less rich in micronutrients.

Chicken Rotation

Chickens lay best in their first year of production after they’ve begun laying. Most chickens will slowly decline in production until they stop laying sometime in their 5th or 6th year, though this can vary a bit by breed. Our long term goal is to have a gradient of ages among our flock, so we’ve always got some at the peak of their production, and some that are tapering off.