Seed Swaps

Chicken Coop Gardening on the Hamakua Coast

23 Jul 2011
Rainy 27°C / 81°F

I have been living here in Ninole, on the Big Island of Hawaii, at about 1000 ft elevation since October last year. It has been very fun and interesting to learn how to garden at a beginner level since then. Jed has been kind enough to put in a square raised bed which i love. I have also unwittingly recently started a “chicken coop” garden.

I purchased my first set of hens earlier this year (two barred rocks with their little hutch). I had to purchase a Hubble Bubble enclosed chicken coop when they were attacked by a vicious mongoose inside their hutch. I love the coop, and the builders/designers have been wonderful about coming up to repair the roof at one point. It did have to be reinforced with the help of my friends (by adding aluminum flashing around the bottom and concrete at the base) because the mongoose was still able to burrow under and enter the coop.

When we reinforced the coop we decided to move it closer to my home to help deter the predators. That left an apparently very lushly fertilized area where some of my newly favorite plants volunteered. I had thrown in as a snack for the chickens some old tomatillos, kabocha seeds, papayas, rotten tomatoes, old sunflowers that i uprooted. As the chickens ate them and composted (through scratching) and fertilized the area with their manure, the seeds apparently had ideal conditions for growth. I now have very happy tomatillo, tomato (not sure what kind yet, but they are blooming), kabocha, sunflower and papaya plants volunteering in that area. i had fortuitously plugged in a pigeonpea given to me by a friend, and a hawaiian chili purchased downtown hilo, and they all are coexisting happily, at least for now!




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