Wednesday, November 24, 2010

UPDATE From TMEN: chicken picker and fences with foliage

The chicken picker app is only for IPhones and the like, and despite a number of comments indicating a desire for the app to be written for the Web, one of the TMEN/Grist editors says basically 'tough, we are doing mobile apps, not for the Web'.

So much for trying to gather a wide audience and educate.

The latest blurb from The Mother Earth News dropped into my e-mailbox this morning with two interesting items:

First, an article on living fences. English hedgerows are renowned not only as a part of the picturesque quality of the English countryside, but as an important part of the ecology of the farmland, home to beneficial species galore. While most folks won't go to such an extent to coppice a fence here due to the difference in farming technique and farm sizes, the idea of creating a haven for wildlife that can help with pest control is a good one to consider for one's kitchen garden if not the larger agricultural plantings one might have. Then, too, a nice living hedge of Japanese barberry is a real disincentive to potential miscreants; thorns an inch long tend to make a person think twice about trying to penetrate a barrier so armed.

As a bonus, at the bottom of the page is a link to the writer's website; he has several articles worth checking out, such as growing your own poultry feed, an alternative to the Cornish game hen, etc.

Second, TMEN is coming out with a chicken picker - an electronic applet to help you choose what breed or breeds will work best for you. Chances are it won't include heirloom varieties, or turkeys or other poultry, but it's a start. If you have the inclination, heirloom poultry varieties are worth considering for their unique characteristics such as better taste or egg production, and raising them helps preserves the breed by helping suppliers justify continuing keeping them available.