Ducks like Vegetables Too and the First Blossom!

So yesterday was spent raising the South Kitchens Garden beds. The ducks can clean up a whole bed of greens in seconds. They LOVE their vegetables. So I am putting my favourite greens out of their reach.

Old barn through trees without leaves, green grass and one horizontal branch in the foreground showing spring growth.

These ducks don’t fly (and have a rooster guardian as you can see). So the beds don’t have to be too high to keep them out.

Brown ducks in the dappled shade of a spring willow. Wheat fields in the back ground. In the foreground are the dry rocks of their rock pond that is emptied for cleaning

(You can see that the rocks for the rock pond are still dry as the ducks and I wait for the water blaster to come back to the farm.)

The South Raised beds are against the concrete foundation of the Coop. Facing South with afternoon shade. In the past we have had trouble with these beds drying out in the summer so making them deeper will help with that.

The Kitchen’s Garden

I only grow what I eat and I grow a lot of greens from seed for my daily salads. I cut the leaves as I want them – instead of harvesting a whole plant – this way I always have greens and if I trim them often enough I get greens all summer.

These beds are at different levels and the highest will be perfect for my greens. They are in layers – herbs in the middle layer and the lowest are going to be salad onions and chives. Ducks don’t seem to eat those!

I brought a bucket full of old compost with the tractor to fill the beds so we are ready to sow seeds once that has settled a bit.

I eat pretty much any leaf that is edible so I will be growing kale, beets, nasturtiums, cabbages, lettuce, spinach, arugula and peas. I pour all the seeds into a cup, stir them up and blanket sow the seeds across the top of the beds then cover with sifted compost.

A medley of greens!

I also have a huge pot for the South Porch that has germinating greens in it too, so I will be picking those first.

The rhubarb is up! Did I tell you? Now we REALLY do not want another frost.

The Kitchens Garden. Spring digging. Fields of wheat in the background with table and two chairs. Midwest plains.

The horse radish leaves are ready for picking and yesterday a small emerging asparagus was sighted (I have not even got the compost on the asparagus beds yet – better hurry up with that!).

So the Kitchens Gardens are already looking promising.

The Wheat

Farmer Ross told me that they should be top sowing the cover crop into the wheat fields, today or tomorrow.

The cover crop is Red Clover and will germinate in below the wheat so that when the wheat is harvested, the clover will take off and there is still a cover of green over the soil. This will hold the weeds down, introduce nitrogen to the soil and protect the field from wind erosion.

Covering the soil at all times is a very important component of regenerative organic soil management.

If the weather is good the clover will be mowed a couple of times so it does not go to seed.

There are 500 varieties of native bees in Illinois and they LOVE clover flowers.

So, right this minute I am going to run out and bring in my table and chairs from the field.


Getting warmer. Full sun. Might be a little windy later on.

Early in the day for watering (already done) and early in the evening for gardening.

Weather Wednesday April 12 2023.

Apparently there is rain forecast for Saturday so I am keeping that in mind too.

I hope you have a lovely day or at least see some loveliness in your day.

Take care. Talk soon.


33 Comments on “Ducks like Vegetables Too and the First Blossom!

  1. It all sounds wonderful! They are hiring goats here in out parks to ear the invasive species and they love it!

    • We see goat herds grazing throughout the spring and summer here, often along the highway systems, but my small community uses them to keep vegetation down near the water treatment plant.

        • Barter for a few to munch their way through if there are any close by- maybe with some of your wonderful bread in exchange 😉

  2. Our weather cannot make up its mind today, but right this moment we have sun- not warmth, but sun at least. Guess what I did this morning? Grated up some left over soap ends, mixed them with hot water and now have my own liquid soap. It will be for hands and such, but also perhaps for intimate items, hand washed and hung to dry, as it smells really good 🙂

  3. I love that table and chairs in the field. Such a brilliant idea to track the wheat growth.

  4. I can see several flowering tulip trees (magnolias) from the bathroom window, so pretty and pink moving in the breeze. It’s about 80 degrees (F), clear skies and the breeze is moving the trees which are starting to look lacy. We’re supposed to have another lovely day tomorrow and I hope to be out and about in it. Enjoy the beauty of spring!

  5. Leafy greens are my favourite… and fortunate that our subtropical zone means sometimes annuals go right through winter and even into the following year with the right conditions. I love to forage for my dinner!

  6. What a great idea for mixed greens. I’m going to try it, at about what distance do you place the seeds? Or do you mix it with sand first so things are spread out a bit? The seeds are such different sizes. I’d love to see a picture when they are growing.

  7. I will try mixing the greens together. That sounds like a great idea. However, am I the only one confused with your temperature pic? 53 F is 11,5 C. Why does yours show 26,6 C.?

  8. I’m thinking about hauling the chook tractor over to a raised grassy area under the banana trees so they can clear a new bed for me and fertilise it. If they chew all the grass down to bare earth, I can fork it over and then transfer a barrowload of their chookyard compost and spread it over the top. Good place to start my winter sowing… And the chooks do 90% of the work.

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