Lavender and Rhubarb and Chickens, Oh My!

Guard Duty in Oysterville

     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…

One Response to “Lavender and Rhubarb and Chickens, Oh My!”

  1. Stephanie Frieze says:

    I think the pig idea is wonderful one, Sydney! I don’t know if they still do it, but 100 years ago when I worked at the Cottage Bakery we were instructed to put the day-old-day-old pastries (in other words, the two day old doughnuts, etc) in a bin behind the bakery where they were picked up during the night by a pig farmer. I would think that a school district would be happy to do whatever cut down on expenses and certainly garbage collection is one of those. Our district encourages recycling and we are consistantly the district with the most tonage recycled. Of course I lay that to probably being one of the more affluent districts where more machines spit out more bottles of water and juice than most districts.

    And just think, if the school district could encourage students and their families to plant gardens and raise chickens it could mean a healthier community. The path to energy independence is paved with sustainable food. I’m sure the folks at Green Angel Farm would agree. I hope the edible tour continues to grow since it benefits everyone. And I’m not surprised that you have the happiest chickens!

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