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Keyhole beds and chicken moats

Keyhole bedsThe actual implementation of my plan will be a subject for another time.  For now, I wanted to give you a bit more information on two elements of my forest garden plan which I haven't explained yet.

The paths in my diagram look convoluted, but there is method to my madness.  I opted for a natural flow pattern based on nodes when laying out the main paths.  Since the garden won't require as much routine maintenance as my vegetable garden, I've decided to use keyhole beds off the sides of the main paths.  Keyhole beds provide the maximum surface area to path ratio, mimicking the blood vessels in our lungs.

On the eastern border of my diagram, you'll notice the words "chicken moat."  This cool idea is a combination of a fence and a chicken run --- the four foot width prevents deer from jumping over while the chickens eat up any weeds that try to pass through.  Some folks double up uses even more and use the moat as a trellis, growing hardy kiwis or grapes up the garden side and picking them from the inside top.  This diagram is an extreme example  (click to see a more legible version) --- I'm considering starting small with the section between the barn and our eventual gate, a spot to house our dreamed-of rooster so that he doesn't overmate the hens in our tractor.

This post is part of our Planning The Forest Garden lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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Such organization! My how you've grown. :-)
Comment by Brandy Sat Mar 7 07:16:12 2009
comment 2
Ha! That's not us, of course. Just a picture stolen off the internet....
Comment by anna Sat Mar 7 08:08:37 2009

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime