The Weekly Digs #236

by Becky

This week Cruz was off of school for Spring break. We did a mini spring break for homeschool too. So it freed up a bunch of time for things to get done outside! 

Chicken Tractor & Raccoon

We moved one of the chicken tractors down to our orchard so they could eat bugs and spread mulch there. So far it’s been great. But we did run into a little issue.

The cows were surrounding the orchard for the first few days but then the cows moved to a new area last night. This morning I went down to check on the chickens and there was one missing!

A raccoon took our hen that was sitting on the eggs and pulled her out of a weak point in the side of the coop. There was a loose screw that I didn’t notice. 

I’m also disappointed at the rooster that I moved down there to protect the ladies. He must have been too chicken (literally and figuratively to attack the raccoon. 

I went down with roofing screws in hand and tightened every weak point in that coop! I will take more precautions now. Raccoons are very diligent and once they get one chicken for dinner they will keep coming back again and again. 

The cows keep predators away for the most part and once they moved it opened everything up for the raccoon to move in. 

The area is more remote and closer to the trees, so not a great spot. I also think this may not bode well for when we have mature fruit setting on the trees. I think we will need to add some electric hot wire across the top of the fencing so raccoons don’t steal everything.

Garden & Farm Reading

I finished reading another great book this week. It’s A Soil Owner’s Manual: How to Restore and Maintain Soil Health How to Restore and Maintain Soil Health.

I’m glad I bought the physical book and not the audio version because I’m going to read it back through again and highlight favorite parts. 

This one will go on my favorites list. It’s a small book and a very quick read. I like the concise and direct information. 

If you’re familiar with Gabe Brown, Ray Archuleta, and Dr. Elaine Ingram the information is something you may have heard of before. Namely that soil health is brought about by disturbing the soil as little as possible, keeping it planted as much as possible, having lots of diversity, and keeping it covered.

Even though that part wasn’t new to me, there were some great tips for testing the health of your own soil at home, and how to keep soil healthy. 

You can find the book HERE.

In the Garden

I’ve spent very little time in the kitchen over this week because the weather has been beautiful. I am not one who can stay in the house at such a time!

Here’s what I planted in soil blocks:

  • Strawberry Blonde Calendula
  • Yarrow Summer Berries
  • Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan) Goldilocks
  • Feverfew
  • Red Celosia 

Some of these weren’t on my initial seed pick list. I added them a little later on a whim when I decided I needed more varieties of flowers.

Direct sowed:

  • Carrots, Bollin and Napoli
  • Peas, Sugar Snap and Beauregard


  • New Red Fire lettuce
  • Teagan lettuce

We did a lot of cleaning up of the garden this week. I didn’t really document much of that aside from a few pictures of putting away some old ground cover below out compost pile (below).

We did document on video the part where we used fire to clear the asparagus debris. I’d like to say it was a controlled burn… but… I put my sixteen year old in charge. Come to find out he needed a little more training, ha. You’ll get to see what happened in my Youtube video coming out next week.

You may also like


Laurel M. March 24, 2024 - 10:08 pm

Thanks for the book recommendation! I hadn’t heard of that one, but I teach classes here in Utah on regenerative gardening and soil health. I love Gabe Brown and Elaine Ingham. Because of their information, my garden soil is incredibly healthier than all my neighbors. I can see it!! I hope the raccoon stays gone, sorry about your hen.

TNGirl March 26, 2024 - 3:35 pm

Thanks for sharing as always. If you have access to Netflix, a must watch is Kiss the Ground, all about how soil health can help the earth heal.


Leave a Comment