Well, you saw the post about my indoor farm and it is doing swimmingly well but this is about Doug’s new project. He practically brags about being able to kill houseplants with a single glare. People that used to work with him would give him precise directions on how to care for their plants and would find them dead upon return. Doug has not been asked to watch indoor plants much since. He has found such a wonderful past time now and says that it is because he only has to keep them alive for a week! The chickens think he’s spoiling them, we are getting five eggs a day, and the chickens look great. So, his experiment given to us by our friend Deb ( http://lookingoutfrommybackyard.wordpress.com ) of great soap fame and master gardener has been beneficial to our mini-farm as well.
He is growing wheat grass. It is inexpensive and provides lots of yummy nutrients to the chickies during the winter. You could also juice a little for yourself (though I might stick with coffee for now). Here’s how:
We went to the plant nursery and bought a seed starting tray. For five chickens we use 2 ounces of whole wheat (Deb uses 2 cups for 14 chickens) and soak it overnight. In the morning, rinse and place in 12 of the holes. There is enough room for Doug to do this for 6 days and each 12 pack has a different sized growth. They really grow fast! The seventh day’s grass sits on top of the seeds he just placed in there and they think it’s soil. The first day’s seeds get the grass on top and the second day’s seed gets an empty seed starter insert on top to simulate soil. You never add soil to the seeds. Water each pack a little daily. The third day on seeds start growing spring-like grass and the seventh day grass is what gets fed to the chickies this morning. We split it, they get a 6 pack this morning and a 6 pack tonight. It must be quite filling because we are using less feed as well. Deb has her starts in a sunny west facing kitchen and ours is in the southern window so no grow lights required.
As soon as people walk through the door, Doug directs them over to see his amazing (non-dead) indoor farm. The picture below is of the chickens at the back door wanting more wheat grass! Spoiled little girls….