This is pretty cool, but it gets better! Next, we grow vegetables on the piece of ground that had chickens on it the previous year. Plants have their own pests and pathogens to contend with. Most plant pests (both insect and disease pests) survive in the soil from one year to the next and their populations build up over time if their host is replanted in the same area. So, we move the vegetable garden to a new area of the pasture the next year and rotate the chickens back through the area where the plants were the previous year. Fun fact about chickens: They LOVE eating bugs. They also are not vulnerable to any of the pathogens or pests that affect vegetables, so they consume the insects and lay down a new layer of manure, revitalizing the soil so that it can be used for vegetables again the next year.
Nature’s beauty, it’s bounty, and it’s ugliness are all ephemeral. As stewards of the land, it’s our job to recognize this fact and find ways to produce food for ourselves within Nature’s paradigms.