A Kitchen Garden, Chickens, and a Duck Pond


I need a garden.

A BIG garden. Down the hill, in the meadow. Giant. But there was no plowing this past fall (hmm, who would do that?) and the job is just too BIG for this year. So, this spring, I’m going to plant a kitchen garden, near the house. And figure out the BIG garden later. Here is where I want to plant the kitchen garden.

In front of the house, there turned out to be a surprising amount of space after all the dirt work and levelling. There’s a gentle slope before the big drop-off down the hill. Watching the sun, the best place for a kitchen garden near the house is this spot between the house and the driveway. I can plant tomatoes, peppers, herbs, asparagus, and other things I want to have close at hand. It’s the only spot near the house that gets enough sun.

Look!!! Fifty asparagus plants!! I love asparagus!!! There’s a blueberry bush in there, too.

To the far side of the house (from the driveway) you can see the old logging road. This is where I think I will set up my chickens. Here, I can easily watch over them from the house.

To the near side of the house, there is another old logging road. (The driveway itself was originally part of the old logging roads that go through the farm.) There are several springs against our hill, and down this logging road there is one of the springs where we plan to dig out some to make a duck pond. I LOVE DUCKS.

I have a line on both ducks and chickens to hatch out in the still-air incubator I already have. I’ll be visiting my duck/chicken neighbor soon and taking lots of pictures! She is my GURU of all things fowl!

Speaking of gardening, here is my progress with my biodegradable seed starter pots. First, the cats pooped on them. Then the dogs said, “Hey!!!!! TOYS!”

Apparently, I must Start Over. Good thing it’s West Virginia and it’s only March.

Dookie was all worn out after the dog festival on the seed starter pots and he completed his “farm shih-tsu” grooming by napping in a pile of sawdust.

What else could a farm shih-tsu do?


  1. Sarah in Sanford says:

    Sounds like you have a LOT of plans, Suzanne. It is nice to have plans. They make life so much more enjoyable. When I have big plans and dreams about something it makes me wake up in the morning with happiness in my heart and a bounce in my step. If having big plans does that to you, your heart must be about to burst with happiness!
    Thank you again for sharing so much of your life with us. I look forward to getting up each morning and seeing what you have done the day before. It is like keeping in touch with a close friend that I’ve never met. Sarah :o)

  2. Maryann says:

    Don’t forget about all that lovely compost from the fall leaves. You could also build up a bed this year and not have to worry about plowing.

  3. Lisa J says:

    What a view you are going to have. And what a dream you have already achieved with so many more to come. I am very happy for you and hope it continues to bring you happiness for the rest of your life. Many wonderful things are going to come your way with so much heart and desire you have for you and your family!

  4. Heidi says:

    Good Morning West Virginia!!! Got your mail btw – LOVE IT!! I have 2 gardens – the one is MONSTEROUS and the other is my herb/kitchen garden. I noticed that it slopes – mine did too, so we put up railroad ties and put dirt in it to level it out. The one side of my garden was ground level, but when you walked around the other side you could stand and pick your tomatos… worked great!!!
    If you want a big garden this year, its not to hard/late. Do you know any one with a rotar tiller? The can chew that ground up so fast your eyes will pop – I bet steve the mighty builder has one.. :rockon: What kind of chickens are you going to be getting??? Ducks???? details baby details!!! :bananadance:

  5. Kim A. says:

    What a mess the fur kids made. And all that sawdust in Dookie’s hair…! LOL.

    Are you raising the chickens just for eggs or for poultry too? Just curious. Not sure I could chop off a chicken’s head, but fresh eggs are *wonderful*.


  6. Mental P Mama says:

    Do you ever sleep? Everything is really coming together. I can’t wait to see pictures of chickens in the (logging) road! :flying:

  7. Hillbilly2 says:

    Chickens, hen house, ducks, duck pond, garden, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, asparagus, blueberries, incubation, dogs, cats, seed starter pots… :whip:
    When will you find time to write?! I think Steve-the-Builder is not the only one capable of accomplishing amazing feats! Can you leap tall buildings in a single bound, also? :flying: (tee hee)

  8. Treasia says:

    What a beautiful view you have from your pie porch. A kitchen garden will be a nice added addition. Chickens to? Where do you find the time or energy for it all?

  9. Kathleen says:

    Unfortunately, I do not have a green thumb :no:

    Looks like you have a good spot for your garden!!

  10. kacey says:

    wish I had a sunny spot for a garden. Oh, I love how my wildlife comes right up close enough to photograph since the woods is RIGHT THERE. But then I have no sun in my backyard. And suburban neighbors frown on taking over your front yard and making it into a vegetable garden…

  11. Karen Erickson says:

    I’d love to have a vegetable garden and chickens! Maybe next year. We’re working on the new yard this year. :chicken:

    I’d love a pond too but it would attract every crazy wild animal we have around here. Something I really don’t want to deal with! LOL

  12. Maria says:

    Now WHO is going to cook all that asparagus for you??

  13. Bayou Woman says:

    What kind of wild predators will you be protecting garden and chickens from? Come see me. Today we’re cracking crawfish claws!!

  14. Susan says:

    Suzanne, it sounds like you have everything figured out! I have a feeling you’re going to be doing a lot of baking to keep 14 and 16 fortified to help you with all the work. :yes:

    What beautiful views you have from your house! :shimmy:

  15. lintys says:

    It will be so much fun watching your plans materialize! I’m looking forward to the escapades, trials, and triumphs as you continue to make your dreams come true.

    I have some asparagus to plant this spring too! I’ll be looking forward to seeing how yours does.

  16. Cheryl says:

    :cattail: Hey Suzanne, I look forward to your daily posts and have enjoyed following along on your journey. This is such an exciting time of year for me too with the gardens. We always put in a large garden with lots of things for canning and I always have my herb gardens and onion/garlic beds too. I would like to give you a tip on the blueberry bush. I have read that you will need to plant two bushes so that they pollinate and set fruit. Here’s to fabulous blueberry muffins!

  17. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Hi, Cheryl! This is a self-pollinating type of blueberry (same with the peach tree and thornless blackberry) so we’ll see how that works!

  18. Brandy says:

    I want to plant a garden, but would forget to water everything. *sigh*
    I hope that you are able to get everything planted, without the dogs getting into it! *G*

  19. Tori Lennox says:

    I just love hearing about your farm plans!!!

  20. Estella says:

    I love hearing about all the plans you have.
    A large garden takes an awful lot of work, but the rewards are worth it.

  21. catslady says:

    I’m still laughing over the last two pics. I have very few plants in my house that have survived the cats :hissyfit: and the dog in the sawdust :shocked:

    Something ate the two blueberry bushes that I planted last year but the onions survived :yes:

  22. Lis says:

    I *heart* Dookie, he’s adorable 🙂 Good luck with the gardening, I can’t wait till I can play in the dirt again.

  23. Christine says:

    I think we’re kindred spirits. I’m planning my gardens and chicken coops, too. Hadn’t thought about ducks though, hmmm…

  24. Renna says:

    Oh, how I envy you the asparagus and blueberry plants! I was just exclaiming to my husband this week that those are two of my favorite foods, and yet both are too expensive to afford to buy them at the grocery store. :no:

    Some day I hope to live where I can at least grow asparagus! :hungry:

  25. Egghead says:

    Oh we have twenty blueberry bushes of several varieties that produce beautifully each year. We also have raised beds that are fenced because the deer love the garden too. As much as I think deer are beautiful they keep eating everything from strawberries, blueberries to all my flowers except a few deer resistant kinds. I don’t know if you have deer where you built your house but if so, tall fences are the only thing that do the trick. I love the country! :chicken:

  26. Sharon says:

    Suzanne: Have you ever heard of the “Mantis” Tiller. If you plan to do all that digging yourself, I would consider it a must. They only cost around $300., and weigh only about 20 lbs. You can pick it up and carry it anywhere, and it starts real easily. I’m a Hill Billy gardner from way back, and have learned the hard way.

    If you have springs near/above where you plant your garden, the water will leach through the ground and nourish your plants. I raised one awesome potatoe patch that way once.

    Good Luck and keep up the interesting work.


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