Going Against the Twain


“But I wanted to be a gate!” “Not today Blue, not today…”

Mark Twain is often quoted as saying:

“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.”

 If it wasn’t him, then I claim it as one of mine. Anyway, one of us was right.

With all the recent rain we have had here in Wet Wales (over what seems like the last forever but is in fact only since November 2015), the area where the chickens live at Chez Snail has turned from terra firma to terra squelcha. Despite a few dryish days, there have been puddles here and there in what is already artificially raised land.

The whole area is, in fact, a mixture of sand and wood chip, mixed with a liberal dollop (oh, I just had to use that word, didn’t I?) of chicken poo. The idea was always to top up the wood chip from time to time using our wonderful willow hedge as a source, and remove a little of the lovely fertile wood/mud/poo mixture to put on the raised beds.

With all the rain, it became desirable just to put some wood chip down to give us non-galliformes a dry place to walk to attend to hen-shaped things (like the hens for example) and leave the gloopy mud in situ for the time being.

Well, it was finally dry enough for long enough to allow me to shred some of the willow I cut down last year (see here).


What you need: some willow


A Trusty Shredder


It really doesn’t seem to produce a lot of chips

The pile of willow cuttings don’t seem to produce a huge amount of material but it spreads reasonably far, creating a patch about a metre or so square of fresh, dry, absorbent ground.


“Was this here before?” “Who cares? Let’s dig it up!”

So, I and the chicks have a bit less terra squelcha and a bit more terra firma, possibly proving Mr Clemens wrong. Now to create some more land and move it somewhere warm…


Move along, nothing to see here




Categories: gardening, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Going Against the Twain

  1. Me and the hens are very grateful… and we can always use those pallets as rafts when the rain returns.

    Liked by 2 people

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