Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reinventing Your Back Yard

Home, Sweet Home
Friends often ask us about our chicken coop. After all, it's not really a coop, but a playhouse, fashioned into a diminutive barn, that we retrofitted to become our girls' home.

A simple task, really, in that we only had to install roosting bars, some nesting boxes (that come as one unit), and carve an Alice-in-Wonderland sized door that leads into the run we built. Voila! A chicken mansion for our flock.

Installing the roosting bars and nesting boxes
was quick and easy!
People everywhere are looking closely at the structures they already have in their back yard, scratching their chins a bit, and saying, "Hhmmm. What if ...?"

And they should be. So many sheds, playhouses, swing sets, even dog houses, go untouched for years, lying vacant and neglected. Why not look at them as opportunities to be reborn as a rabbit hutch or chicken coop? You would then be counted as one of the many creative folk, the DIYers of the garden world, to repurpose your existing structures into something useful!

Hang the feeder and waterer, carve out a door into the chicken run.
And you're done!
And the same goes for vegetable gardens, bird houses and compost bins.

A raised bed garden could bloom from an old sand box, cast aside pallets (which you can find at warehouses and the like, for free) can be stacked to become compost bins or crafted into gardens and chicken coops. My Pet Chicken even sells plans for a pallet coop!

And that old, rusty mail box? Why not transform it into an adorable bird house? The possibilities are endless.

This summer, at Wakeman Town Farm, the Junior Farmer Camp is going to teach kids exactly this concept, through activities to build gardens, coops and bird houses using abandoned materials that are just waiting to be put to work again.
The chicken door is closed and locked each night
to keep out those pesky predators.

So, this spring, set out to look at your back yard with a fresh pair of eyes, take out that hammer and saw and make your yard a living space again.

This gorgeous garden was made using repurposed pallets
with a garden cloth stapled to the underside to prevent weeds.
Happy spring!