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. Since I really enjoy my garden and barnyard flock, I continue to offer my garden delights to the public at local farmers’ markets and ALG.
I raise barnyard fowl (chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and a peacock pair), and use the hen house litter to side dress the garden in late summer. The birds are not caged, they do have an extensive enclosed run when I’m not home, and I allow them day access to the garden and pasture. They are fed the non-sellable fruits, vegetables and used-up plants, plus all the weeds and insects they might enjoy. In the past I have also bred rabbits and raised pigs & lamb to slaughtering age.
For the vegetables, thick mulching is provided by hay/straw and paper refuse (cardboard, seed catalogs, etc.). I have 6 compost bins for soil augumentation. Water comes from my deep well. 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, rarely, rotor-till for ease of planting, then immediately refurbish the mulching material between rows. The hay I use is my own grown without the use of chemicals. I rotate crops through 4 hoop houses and have outside raised beds, as well as fence rows for climbing vegetables.
My birds are not fed commercial feed or any antibiotics or additives except for vitamins, minerals and scratch feed when I want them in a particular location. 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. My Great Pyrenees, Lucy, protects them from critters.
Chris Albertin has a degree in Agriculture and 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
5 Food Safety Training (USDA) 2016 & 2018.
You can find us on FaceBook at MENAGERIE ACRES
Stop by and visit awhile.