February brings a new chapter to the IslandWood garden! When our new Garden Manager, Mira started recently, they insisted that they bring along their “four best workers”. Those workers turned out to be Helen, Queenie, and The Twins — four retired layers from Mira’s personal chicken flock.


Mira’s background in regenerative agriculture and affinity for chickens made the decision to bring chickens into the IslandWood garden an easy one. The girls live on the north side of the greenhouse, in a small run that was constructed out of some existing compost bins. Our new ladies also get out into the garden in a brand-new chicken tractor constructed from recently pruned hazelnut branches from right outside the garden fence.


Our new garden workers are paying their own way by processing much of the garden’s organic matter and turning it back into fresh manure. They are an excellent teaching resource for School Overnight Program students to learn about the diverse ways we use regenerative agriculture practices.


By keeping all our organic matter in the garden and recycling it back into soil and compost, we are closing our waste circle and putting into practice IslandWood’s values and beliefs. In addition, we are giving a new purpose to these four hens who are no longer generating eggs and sharing with students how they can also think creatively about animals and their “value”.


Next time you stop by campus, you might hear little clucks mixed in with the sounds of laughter and learning. Give the girls a hello!


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