After giving the ground a good hoeing I was now in search for some mulch and fertilizer. I glanced over to our chicken yard I realized something I had not thought of yet. Over the winter I had put out a couple of old hay bales in the chicken yard to give them something to scratch around in and for a wind break. The chickens scratched and pecked the hay for a few months, breaking it down into a fine organic substance. I raked it up and used it as a mulch on our garden beds. Mulch keeps the elements from destroying the soil, as well as suppressing weeds and nourishing the beds as it gets rained in. The chickens are great at breaking down organic matter so that it is more easily absorbed into the earth. I don’t think I could have found a better substance at any garden store if I tried! Now all I need to do is teach them how to plant and harvest the vegetables!