Rio Vista – chickens and asparagus

Hello Garden Friends,

IMG_0197Can anyone think of a better way to spend a Wednesday than to dig up some soil, plant some asparagus root stock, and then watch a chicken eat some bolting lettuce. I certainly couldn’t think of a better springtime activity.

Planting asparagus in the ground has been something I have been wanting to do for a while. Besides celery, and fennel, asparagus is one of the only plants I know of that we grow specifically to eat the stem. It comes in handy during the 6 plant parts lesson and edible stems is something that has been lacking in this garden until this week.

IMG_0199After digging a narrow trench, laying down the bare roots (which the kids are displayingproudly in the featured image), we mulched over top with some hay to keep moisture in and weeds away from the sun.

For play, we cut down some of the lettuce that has been going to flower in the hotter days and fed it to the chicken that I bring to class once per rotation. While watching the bird hungrily demolish the leaves poking through the chicken wire we talked about all the benefits of having chickens in our daily lives.. eggs… weed control.. bug control.. and of course a seemingly endless supply of fertilizer ­čśë

Until next week,

Farmer Jeff

Jeff Mailes

Jeff Mailes is a garden designer and environmental educator working out of Woodland Hills, CA. A Los Angeles County Master Gardener and UC Davis Alumni, Jeff earned his B.S. in Environmental Resource Science in 2012 and has been growing edibles and natives for the past 6 years.

Jeff’s passion for plants and garden education has led him to school gardens from Los Angeles to Sacramento and all the way up to Portland, Oregon. Now familiar with ecosystems across the West Coast, Jeff has settled back home and works to bring people together over food and inspire the next generation of earth stewards to leave it better than they found it. When not writing about himself in the third person, Jeff enjoys singing with his guitar, going on camping and hiking excursions, and tossing a frisbee around with his friends.