Things have been rough. Here's a summary of a pretty pathetic year of gardening and a promise to myself that this year will be better.
The biggest addition to my garden last year was fauna, rather than flora. We got a couple of chickens! Me and Mrs. Digger had been considering it for a while when a chicken coop showed up on Craigslist for $20. It had been purchased by a family living in the mountains and, immediately after putting chickens in it, a bear knocked it over and devoured it's contents. I bought it, fixed it up, and put a couple chickens of my own in it. They're Dominique hens, which have the distinction of being America's oldest chicken breed. They were selected for being hardy, decent layers who tend to be quiet and friendly.
Now, there are some great things about having chickens in the yard too. Primarily, I got fresh eggs on a regular basis (until they started hopping the wall and hiding them in neighbors' yards). Second, they love grubs as much as I hate them. Any time I'm digging in the yard, they are right there with me, waiting for a chance to snap up a juicy grub. They turn those grubs (and a lot of other stuff) into excellent fertilizer. Lastly, they're sweet, easy creatures. I think their temperament is similar to that of cats. They're independent enough to exist alone quite happily as long as I keep their food and water filled but when I'm out there they ask to be petted or held. That's the kind of pet I like.
This year will be good. I will dig. Plants will grow.
I can't wait to get out there.