Mushroom Compost and the End of Free Ranging in the Garden

The mushroom compost arrived today. Yay! I had been looking for compost and happened across the idea of mushroom compost during my craigslist browsing. I did a bit of research online and offline through that original search engine (Library) and determined it will be smashing!

I contacted the guy, John Fischer and scheduled the delivery. Nice guy, engineer. He sells 2 cubic yards delivered for $103 and actually gave me about 2.5 cubic yards total. Dumped it out in a great, vast pile in the driveway. Man was it big and steaming! You can find him on craigslist here.
Now, after spending $103 dollars on this fine mushroom compost I could see filling and tilling the raised beds only to come back later in the afternoon and find the material spread three feet in every direction. . .Chickens in case you are not aware, are by instinct diligent and fervent excavators of soil. They scratch and dig in their search for insects, worms, larvae. Our lead hen Ethel will throw dirt four to six feet behind her as she works on digging a proper and correct fighting position. . .errr, looks for grubs and worms. I came home one day and found her standing in a hole almost hidden. Until I walked up and realized it was a trench four feet long, and as deep as a chicken. All the product of a morning’s digging session for some tasty grubs.
So to save my future amended, tilled, lovely raised planting beds, something was needed to keep the excavators out! I turned to plastic chicken fencing and some fence poles from Lowe’s. It made the girls angry, no doubt. They paced and squawked alone the new fence line, wanting in, all to no avail. Soil saved, yay!

Now we’ll see how the soil is for this growing season!
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