Posts Tagged "how-to"

Weeding is More FUN with Chickens!

Posted on Mar 2, 2011

Weeding is More FUN with Chickens!
Weeding With Hen Friends

Weeding With Hen Friends

Yesterday afternoon I was pulling some weeds out of a few garden beds that I didn’t cover with chopped leaves or cover crop last fall. The cover-cropped and leaf covered beds are beautifully weed free and will be easy to plant when I’m ready.

Easy is a good thing since I’ve been happily buried in preparing for Dig In! Fayetteville’s First Food & Farming Filmfest. I’m working with two wonderful local farm gals to bring foodie and locavore films to NWA. These films have been popular and won many awards in film festivals around the country. Several will be shown for the first time in Arkansas. The films are selected to inspire and empower us all—in a positive and encouraging way—to go local and organic. You can read about what we’ll be watching and watch film trailers here at

But back out in the garden… The uncovered beds have weeds, mostly henbit and chickweed. Note that foreshadowing… I actually don’t mind pulling the clumps up. In the soft raised-beds it’s very easy to do AND it’s so much darned fun using the weeds in the manner explored in the video below!  But I also know that those exposed beds were also exposed to rain and weather, which compacts the soil….and those exposed, uncovered beds are much less kind the to soil microorganisms which make veggies grow so much better. So winter cover crops are my new best friend now that I’ve seen the incredibly crumbly soil underneath them.

When I do have weeds, this video shows what I do with them. I also chat a bit about chickens in your garden. Enjoy!

—A Larrapin Garden
Posts most wednesdays & weekends. Don’t miss any—you can subscribe by Email here.  You can also get bonus links and recipes by “liking” our Facebook fan page at Geesh, we’re even on Twitter at A special shout-out of gratitude to and OzarksUnbound for helping us spread the word about the Dig In! Filmfest!

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Dirty Movies for Gardeners & Foodies

Posted on Jan 28, 2010

Northwest Arkansas is preparing for another ice storm nearly to the day of the anniversary of the catastrophic ice storm we had in 2009. It’s predicted to be much less severe though, and that’s an anxiety-ridden comfort. Such is our fate I guess now that the rain/ice/snow boundaries of the country have shifted a bit north. I recall with irony my first drive through southern Missouri a few years back thinking, “what on earth happened to so many of their forests with the tops snapped off the trees? Gosh, sure am glad our trees don’t look like that….” Now my backyard and much of the region has looked like that for the last year…

On the comedic side of things, I went to Wal-Mart last evening to add to our stash of emergency candles, like about two billion other locals decided to do at the same time. Nothing like the reaction to a predicted snow/ice event in the South. I love it, being a Southerner. It has kind of a crazy emergency-holiday feel to it. When I lived in places where snow/ice was “normal” I found it such a downer that no one was dashing out to strip the shelves of bread and milk…and emergency candles. (And, um, Beer!) But they were yesterday!!

As I walked toward the store, people pushing huge baskets motioned to the storefront and said things like, “Hope you are ready for that!” and “You’re gonna wish you brought your waitin’ boots!” Clever wordsmith. Somehow, this all puts me in a festive mood. Like the school aged Southern thrill when YOUR school is named on the closures list on the radio just because some road dozens of miles from you has an icy patch. It’s all still a thrill to me. Go figure. 🙂

I had a great time though they were already sold out of emergency candles. The retail maestros had emergency supplies lined up along the center row: deicer, snow shovels, propane, generators…sleds… You would have thought an ice-Katrina was headed our way and life as we knew it could end shortly. Which I guess is always true… But I did pick up a few little camping propane bottles for the cookstove, just in case. Nothing like being without power for seven days this time last year to put a little wintry-mix PTSD in your day, festive mood or not!

But I digress, I’m here to share some of my favorite dirty movies of late: “Fresh,” “Food, Inc.” and “Dirt.” (Yes, Dirt is already a favorite even though I haven’t seen it yet!) Enjoy the links below!

Fresh, The Movie (
I got to see this night before last. It’s both thought provoking and uplifting too as it features interviews with farmers ranging from industrial to conventional to ecological. Calvin Bey moderated our local screening and suggested that we notice the affect (aka the “vibe”) from the various people interviewed. That was a pretty remarkable exercise and sure affirmed the “do what you love” principle of life. A good intro to food issues with a nice balance of hope and portraits of uplifting trends in the midst of our industrialized food system. Don’t miss this film!

Dirt: The Movie
This is the one I haven’t seen yet. But it’s got a lot of my favorite farmers in it AND it celebrates my favorite thing on the farm: soil. (I couldn’t resist the jazzy title of this post, but I have been corrected by teacher-farmers in the past to never confuse the two and never treat your soil ‘like dirt.’ Wise words!)

Food, Inc. (

This one is tough. It shows you what’s really at stake when we make food choices. But strong medicine has indeed helped me make better food buying choices because the pain in my wallet to buy what I call “ethical meat”  does not compare to the suffering of the animals in the industrial food system. And I want to lessen my contribution to that system, and that suffering.

So check out some food and sustainable-agriculture films, get educated and get gardening! Nothing like dirty movies the whole family can sit down and watch! Here’s to envisioning a lovely snow instead of ice for NWA. Stay warm! Please leave a comment via the link below and let me know what you think of the movies.

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