- On January 24, 2014
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This is so fun.
Not usually one to blow by winter (it’s so fleeting here already), I suddenly find myself longing for spring weather to warm the earth, so I can grow stuff. Yes, it was 12 degrees overnight here, so the lush green garden is still weeks and weeks away. But growing fodder means I can have germinated seeds and green shoots right here in the house in just a matter of days.
I practiced with some rye grass seed first, because that was the kind of seed I could get my hands on. It came up fine, but the animals weren’t thrilled. Maybe they were just puzzled. Then the barley seed came in from Azure Standard, and I began starting new batches every night for about 4 nights. The idea is that in 5-6 days you’ll have a batch maturing every day. One might even get into a routine so that a batch matures every day of the week for as long as you can keep up the system.
I’ve learned that “mature” is a flexible word. The plants can easily go a day or two either way and still offer the animals a wonderfully nutritious alternative to pellets or hay. I let this first batch go until the green plants were about 3″ tall – a nice big mouthful of chlorophyll-packed-goodness.
After a very cold night outside, the bunnies and the chickens took to their little tastes of verdant fodder like crazy. I need to introduce it slowly, especially for the rabbits, so that I don’t upset any tummies. But my hard work was rewarded by enthusiastic munching from all quarters. I hope to grow a variety of greens for both the bunnies and chickens, especially if I have to keep the chickens contained, and move the pellets to a supporting role in their diets. (Free range chickens are so much easier to take care of, but live chickens are the only ones who lay eggs.)
I guess this project is a go!