Learn about gardening for free-range chickens on May 15

Keeping a small backyard garden flock of chickens is fun and rewarding. My flock consists of five Plymouth Barred Rock hens, and I just added four baby chicks that are about a month old. My ladies love to scratch the soil with their feet and hunt for bugs all day long. They enjoy resting under some shrubs and will take a dust bath in the soil and leaf mulch. Their favorite part of the day is when I welcome them out of their coop in the morning with pieces of bread, and they follow me everywhere I go in our fenced backyard.

My hens reward me with eggs almost every day, and I must say there is nothing like eating a fresh egg! They also help aerate my soil and keep my soil rich in organic matter. I love working in my chicken gardens and sharing time with my flock.

Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom, a new book just released in February, has become one of my favorites, and I’m so excited that the author will be at the Arboretum on Tuesday, May 15 for a book signing and talk. The evening begins at 6:30 and will include wine and cheese. I hope you can join what I know will be an exciting and entertaining evening. Jessi is an arborist and a certified professional horticulturist, as well as a lover of chickens and gardens!

To reserve a seat for this free talk, call 410-634-2847, ext. 0, or visit www.adkinsarboretum.org and click on “Programs and Events.”

By Robyn Affron
Visitor Services Coordinator
Certified Professional Horticulturist

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