This grower has a photo album.
Menagerie Acres is a family homestead established January 1980. Since the children left home, and Jim passed away, the need for canning vegetables and putting up fruit has decreased dramatically. I now offer my garden delights to the public at local farmer’s markets and WIC markets.
I raise barnyard fowl (chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and a peacock pair), and use the henhouse litter to sidedress the garden in late summer. The birds are not caged, but they do have an enclosed run during the growing season to keep them out of the garden. During this time they are fed the unsellable fruits, vegetables and used-up plants. They also get all the good “misplaced” wildflowers that take up space in the veggie garden. In the past I have also bred rabbits and raised pigs & lamb to slaughtering age.
For the vegetables, thick mulching is provided by straw and paper refuse (cardboard, magazines, etc.). When watering drip hoses bring water to the plants that need it most. Pest control is primarily accomplished through hand-picking and the use of pepper spray made each autumn from my own peppers. I do not fertilize, but rely on earthworms and the organic content of the soil. I might rotor-till for ease of planting, then immediately refurbish the mulching material between rows. The straw I use is locally grown without the use of chemicals.
My birds are not fed commercial feed with antibiotics or additives in liquid form. My focus is to give them the safest and healthiest environment that I can, and letting their immune systems take care of whatever germs they might run into.
Chris Albertin has the following certifications:
1 Naturalist Certification 2014
2 Master Gardener Training 2015
3 Master Composter Training 2016
4 Journeyman Farmer Certificate (Ruminants/Fruits&Veggies) 2016
You can find us on FaceBook at MENAGERIE ACRES
Stop by and visit awhile.