Blog Party for Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom

by Genevieve on April 4, 2012

Post image for Blog Party for Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom

The last time I reviewed Jessi Bloom’s new book, I focused on the text. Let me tell you, even with only three chickens, I needed the advice, and I could not wait for this book to come out.

But in my eagerness to absorb everything that Jessi knows about gardening with chickens, I may have neglected to properly rave about the other awesome element in the book: the photographs.

The pictures are so charming that if I didn’t already have my own flock, I would have been rushing out to the feed store to place a new order for a lovely variety of hens. I mean, look at this:

photo courtesy Jessi Bloom (4)

Those proud beaks, and their fluffy little behinds! I love the tiny gray one halfway hidden in the foliage – she looks like a miniature roadrunner to me. So cute!

For me, the photos enhanced the text by making gardening with chickens seem not only accessible but chic. Sometimes, all the poop on the patio gets me down, but the reassuring photographs (with, yes, the occasional pile of manure in the shot) make me actually believe Jessi that having both a lovely garden and lovely birds is not only possible but fun as well.

photo courtesy Jessi Bloom photo courtesy Jessi Bloom (3)

The photos shown here are a selection of pictures that didn’t even make the cut for the book, so you know the book itself is a beaut.

Want to win your own copy? We’re having a bit of a blog party to celebrate the book, so Timber Press has offered up a fresh new copy of the book to one lucky reader. But a one-book giveaway wouldn’t quite constitute a party in my view, so Storey has also offered up a copy of their brand new Fresh Egg Cookbook by Jennifer Trainer Thompson!

Just leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner at random on April 12th (US only). And if you really want a win (you know you do), head on over to  these blogs for another chance:

Jessi at http://gardenfowl.com/

Erica at http://www.nwedible.com/

Theresa at http://www.LivingHomegrown.com

Angela at http://myrubberboots.com/

Annette at http://www.sustainableeats.com/

Kylee at http://www.ourlittleacre.com

Willi at http://www.digginfood.com/

Debbie is our winner! Congrats, Debbie! I have emailed you about your prizes.

All photos copyright Jessi Bloom.

{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Cox April 4, 2012 at 4:58 am

I would love to win these books. I need lots of info on keeping my garden and my chickens happy.

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Kathy M. April 4, 2012 at 5:14 am

Thanks for the giveaway. We’re planning on getting chickens soon – and I need all the help I can get!

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Mary @ Going Native April 4, 2012 at 5:29 am

I’ve been thinking about getting chickens. I even picked out the varieties I want. This post convinced my that chickens will be a part of our landscape.

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Meagan April 4, 2012 at 5:43 am

I have chickens, and I have gardens. Unfortunately, mine do not look like these gorgeous photos. If you stopped by, you’d mostly see chicken manure on my front steps, ducks smashing my flowers, and the hens destroying the lettuce. I think I NEED this book!

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Kat @ Rose Prairie Quilts & Farm April 4, 2012 at 5:50 am

I have had chickens for over 30 years and it is fun to see that so many are finding out how much fun chickens are. All these new books, how great. I hope to win one for my library and thank you for the chance.

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Evelyn Vincent April 4, 2012 at 6:07 am

We spent the past year living off-the-grid in an intentional community and lived directly in front of a chicken coup. Even though my grandfather and other relatives had chickens and dairy farms when I was a little kid I didn’t learn a thing, except knowing what real food tasted like. So living directly across from these chickens for a year was quite interesting. The thing that struck me most was how differently the breeds behaved.
One breed struck me as the kind I would like to get next spring, Golden Laced Wyandotte. What I enjoyed most about them is they look like dinosaurs (the most prehistoric chickens I’ve seen) and their behavior I found to be smarter than the Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, and another breed that I can’t recall at the moment. Some of the other qualities I liked of the Golden Laced Wyandotte were that they just looked sturdier (less fragile in a way) and better able to defend themselves if need be, roost in trees, seemed more curious about things than the other breeds, and they would fly over the 6′ high fencing to scout other areas for food and go back into the penned area without being heard or seen (it took months before anyone was able to figure out how they were getting over the fence to get out and then back in).
I feel quite confident that this is the breed I would like to start off with next spring.

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Deb April 4, 2012 at 6:09 am

I’d love to win, I really need help having a garden AND chickens! LOL

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Jess April 4, 2012 at 6:24 am

Thanks for your great review! Sounds wonderful. Count me in.
(P.S. The NYTimes did an article yesterday on home chicken-keeping and fresh eggs and mentioned The Fresh Egg Cookbook, too!)

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Darla Miller April 4, 2012 at 7:31 am

Ohhhhh! I am so excited to dream and scheme about fresh raised eggs! Would LOVE to read more and LOVE the photos you posted!

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Nicky @dirtandmartinis April 4, 2012 at 7:40 am

I had to join in this virtual chicken party! I’m going to have chickens one day and until then I need all the help and advice I can get. This book sounds like the perfect place to start!

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Bee Girl April 4, 2012 at 7:48 am

Chickens and gardens…it would be great to find a balance :-)

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Liz April 4, 2012 at 7:51 am

As a chicken owner (and lover!) I would love to have a copy of either of these books! Love your blog, by the way. :)

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Dawn April 4, 2012 at 7:52 am

I would LOVE to win these books! Both titles would be valuable resources in my library. Thank you for the opportunity!

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Lauren Weiss April 4, 2012 at 7:52 am

Building my coop for chicken version 3.0 now — hoping to free-range them more than in the past; this book would be handy! (And the photos? WOW.)

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Kaitlin April 4, 2012 at 8:12 am

I’ve wanted this book for awhile now, looks so great! I’ve had it saved on my amazon wish list…

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edremsrola April 4, 2012 at 8:32 am

Dare I enter another of your give-aways? You know I’d love these books!

Hold on – you’re saying and can stack the odds and enter at those other sites as well? Off I go then….

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Alex Freeman April 4, 2012 at 8:34 am

Thanks for the info. We just got 4 Dominique chicks for the first time. I can’t wait to see them eat all the little bugs around garden.

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Maxus April 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

OOOOO!! I really want to win one of these.

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Raquel Padilla April 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

This book would be a great addition to my garden book collection and because Im trying to convince my significant other that we must have chickens, this would help plead my case that gardens and chickens can live in peace.

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Anisa/The Lazy Homesteader April 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

I really want to win! I found you through NWEdible.com. I’m very interested in the Chicken Gardens book! Pick me!

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Marina April 4, 2012 at 9:12 am

I have eight hens and they love to roam free but I don’t let them out too often for fear of them destroying my garden. It would be great to read Jessi’s book, I know my chickens will be thankful!

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Em Walker April 4, 2012 at 9:28 am

Raising chickens for the first time since I was a girl on the farm…..now I’m a girl in the city! lol A little nervous to do it on my own but, the books would be a great place to start!

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Lesa W. April 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

I would love to win this. I’m really excited about getting started with chickens.

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Desiree Meinardi April 4, 2012 at 9:45 am

Chickens and gardens, two of my favorite things!

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Coco Thorpe April 4, 2012 at 9:47 am

Buck buck buck buckock! Yes please!

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Linda A. April 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

I would love to win either book. I do agree that Jesse’s book has amazing and inspiring pictures of the possibilities. I am now lusting for bantams. :)

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bren April 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

Gorgeous photos! I can’t wait to check this book out.

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Martha April 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

I love my five chooks…but my husband is frustrated with them in his vegie patch!

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Ashley, the Accidental Olympian April 4, 2012 at 9:58 am

Fingers crossed I can walk away a winner!

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Oregon Sunshine April 4, 2012 at 10:07 am

Those are gorgeous photos! If they didn’t make the cut, I can’t wait to see what’s inside the book!

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Terry April 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

You’re right. The photos are beautiful. I’m not sure my hens are quite as photogenic. I KNOW my garden isn’t. Perhaps this book would help.

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jess s April 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm

The photos are gorgeous, and what a comeuppance to everyone who says that chickens destroy gardens.

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Lorna April 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I’ve been thinking about getting chickens, this would be a great book to have.

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Jeri Lynn April 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm

So glad to hear about this book! I would love to have a few chickens running around my garden but always wondered if they would shred everything and make a dirt patch out of the garden. The photos you’ve got posted make it look completely doable!

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Kelly W. April 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

When I was a senior in high school, we all had to take one of those tests that tells you what you should be when you grow up. It told me “chicken farmer.” My friends laughed at me. I was so embarrassed. Although I’m not a chicken farmer, the thought has always been in the back of my mind. And now raising chickens is cool!

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Kimberly C April 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Ooooo! Pictures! Oh dear, I haven’t even acquired chickens yet and I’m already wanting more..

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Linden April 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Need help teaching my chickens to co-exist with my garden! Thanks for the chance.

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Sharon Liljedahl April 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Would love to have a chance to win one of these books, great blog by the way, tried to sign up to follow, but something went wrong with my aol sign on so I will try again tomorrow. They said they locked my account? So have to check into that. Thanks for the chance to enter.

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Shane Kaufman April 4, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Great blog, I’ll be back!

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Christina April 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I would love to win these books. We are hoping to overturn the ban we have in our city this year, and when we do I will be getting chickens right away!

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Debbie April 4, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I would love to have chickens. Soon, I hope :) I’m still in the planning stage and my city just recently passed an ordinance allowing chickens. Thanks for the opportunity.

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Ruth James April 5, 2012 at 4:21 am

I would love to raise raise chickens in my garden but (this is true) my husband is chicken to initiate such in suburbia……..sigh

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Jill April 5, 2012 at 4:56 am

I would love to win these books! I grew up with chickens and can’t wait to get some of my own the next year or two when I can get on a farm (no chickens in the allowed in my suburbs).

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Brittany April 5, 2012 at 6:13 am

Love this blog. Trying to start my own chicken garden, so I need all the advice I can get. Thanks again!

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Kathi Morgan April 5, 2012 at 8:31 am

That would be awesome to have a Book like this. Looks great. Plan to have chickens one day.

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April @ Angel's Homestead April 5, 2012 at 9:11 am

I owned chickens for the first time last year, but had my entire flock of 18 wiped out over the course of 10 months by raccoon’s, foxes, and a hawk. That number also included 3 brand new chicks that one of my chickens had just hatched. I was devastated, but have decided to try again, as soon as me and my husband finish building our new bigger, and stronger chicken coop. These books would be great, since I am also planting a garden for the first time this year. Thanks!

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Hether April 5, 2012 at 9:25 am

Oh I want these books! We are so anxious for chickens, we’ve been reading everything we can and studying up.

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Linda April 5, 2012 at 10:06 am

Ohmygoodness. My dream garden is what I see in the pictures. A cobble stone pathway surrounded by greens and lovely chickens roaming. I can only dream!

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Brandon April 5, 2012 at 10:54 am

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance to win it.

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ted April 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Man, some years my chickens get more out of the garden than I do! I need this book, so thanks a lot for the chance to win.

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Gypsy Meadow April 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Love the gardening book! Would love to win it, thanks!!

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quinnwick April 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm

A chicken garden! what a wonderful idea.

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Kay April 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I would love to win. Have the garden but not the chickens!

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Cheryll McCrarey April 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Thank you for this opportunity, my daughter would love these books!!

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Jessica M April 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I’m very Type A and have been looking for a good backyard chicken book before I jump in and get a flock! What a great giveaway!

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Khristi April 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I’ve got 7 hens currently laying and 6 babies in the brooder right now I have a big garden too. I would LOVE these books!! Please please pick me!!

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andrea April 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Wow, those photographs are amazing! This book will be sure to give garden design inspiration as well as garden/chicken management information. Can’t wait to give it a read. Thanks!

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Deb Anderson April 6, 2012 at 3:23 am

The little white chicken in the next to last picture looks like my cockatoo! I wish it was part of the prize too. I would run and tell my husband the cockatoo got out and was running with the chickens and see how long it took him to figure it out…lol. I really hope I win these because I just got my chickens a week and a half ago and am putting in gardens now. It would be great to have some guidance.

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Maxus April 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

I would love to win one of these books!

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Sarah Longman April 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I LOVE all my 16 chickens, my kids and I can’t stop picking out new baby chicks every time we go to FHA. We started with 4, and now they have taken over the yard! We have a summer and winter home (the green house) for them and the only place they are not allowed is the deck (I have to have a poop free zone). I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my yard to beautiful and chicken friendly. A CHICKEN WONDERLAND of Happiness.

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Jacqui April 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

The pictures are gorgeous! I would love this book!

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Sophia April 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Hope to someday have chickens that lay ‘mild’ tasting eggs. Hopefully this book will point me in the right direction??

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sheila April 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm

These books sound fabulous & just in time. We have had our girls 1 year & would love some ideas on how to plant our yard with new things. We have applied to be on the Seattle Tilth Chicken Coop Tour this July so the timing is perfect! The girls have all started laying so I would love a new cook book so with new ideas .

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Anne April 7, 2012 at 10:47 am

These photos are so inspiring! I grew up with backyard chickens, and I’m finally living in a house with a yard where I can have my own. I’m building my chicken coop now!

Thanks for the opportunity to win these books…

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Melissa April 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I would love to win the books! By the way, I’m so happy I was led to your blog!

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ten April 8, 2012 at 8:50 pm

this looks like a lovely book. the photos are gorgeous. and i can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book. hopefully i can win a copy. thanks, ten

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Stephanie April 9, 2012 at 8:35 am

Would love to add chickens to my garden but don’t know where to start – would love this book to help!

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Beth McShane April 9, 2012 at 8:52 am

If I win a book, I promise to go right out and get my own free-range chickens…. I’ve been wanting to do this for YEARS!! this is the best incentive EVER!!

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Jocelyn/the art garden April 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

I would love to win this book! I have fond childhood memories of the chickens on my grandmother’s farm, and would love to be able to help families combine beautiful gardens with chicken fun.

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waggie April 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm

This book would be very helpful.

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K. Henderson April 10, 2012 at 7:11 am

Must have this book!

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Humboldtjen April 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

I love books…and I’ve been pondering chickens quite a bit lately since I’m thinking about a big yard plan and I hope it include them.

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Nerissa April 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Looks like a sweet book. My mean chickens are so hard on the landscaping.

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Jen April 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

I think my chickens and my garden would both deeply appreciate this book.

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Kara April 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Chickens are the best! Would love some advice on how to keep them from destroying my garden…..

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Curt April 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm

the reason I should have this book
is because I really need to look
into the why’s and hows
of animals smaller than cows
with my girlfriend I’ll be off the hook

thanks for this opportunity!

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Evelyn Vincent April 10, 2012 at 11:42 pm

As an avid gardener and landscape designer I am always looking for more ways to bring sustainability, balance, and beauty into the garden. I believe this book will bring new insights and techniques into my world. Thank you.

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Cathy April 11, 2012 at 5:45 am

I have 3 chicks (my first) I could use all the help I can get.I started eating free range eggs 2 years ago and can’t go back so I though I would do my own. I have a 2 ac. organic garden and 6 grandbabies to help.I’m hope to teach them good eating habits.These books would help me do it right the first time! If I win I will let you know how it is going!

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Jeannie Van Popta April 11, 2012 at 10:02 am

I would love both of these books! We are getting chickens any day now and we can’t wait! Hope our goats like them…..

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Sue D April 11, 2012 at 11:43 am

Would love to read this book and now you have made me excited about the pictures too!

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Mirjam Brett April 11, 2012 at 11:59 am

The hens and I have completely different landscaping ideas. It sure would be nice to get a few pointers on how we can get along in the garden.

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Jeremy April 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Chickens are wonderful companions! I would want a few to live in my garden and help provide chicken manure and control the pest population.

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Esperanza May 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I love my chickens and i love my garden but there is something that Jessi does not talk about in her book ; chickens that scratch right next to your border! You know the section of garden that meets grass. I am constantly having to push the soil back into the border. Any ideas on how to solve this problem?

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