Lavender and Rhubarb and Chickens, Oh My!
Yesterday’s Second Annual Edible Garden Tour here at the beach was as enlightening as last year’s First Annual, but in a different way. Last year we were inspired; this year we felt that several Oysterville gardens ‘coulda been contendahs.’ Maybe even ours.
That’s one of the goals of the Edible Garden Tour – to encourage those of us with even a spot of ground available to get growing something to eat. I have to say that Nyel has been growing and eating out of his garden since long before I met him. He was one of the early P-Patchers in Seattle and has been making meals ‘from scratch’ since the ‘70s. Me – not so much. But I’m a great appreciator.
I couldn’t help doing a little comparing yesterday. Especially in the matter of chickens. (Yes! Chickens and eggs count, too!) Our girls are so healthy in comparison to many we saw. Ours are nicely feathered out – no raw, featherless spots – and they actually get to wander through our garden (the lawn and flowers part, not the vegetable part) all day every day. They are happy hens.
During the tour we met up with Mark Simmons who is in charge of Career and Technical Education programs for Ocean Beach School District. He is working on some great plans for involving our schools in sustainable garden projects. I told him about a sort-of-related idea that another teacher and I had when I taught in Hayward, CA 35+ years ago. We wanted to raise a pig by feeding it the uneaten table scraps from our school lunch room.
Our thought was to have the kids weigh the scraps and weigh the pig each day and toward the end of the school year butcher the pig, roast it, and have a celebratory feast. A great learning project, or so we thought. We were stopped dead in our tracks, of course, by the health authorities. Actually, I think it was more like the garbage authorities. Table scraps from school lunches could only go into garbage cans, not into pigs.
I still think it’s a great idea…