Countdown for chicken coop


This weekend we picked up our chicks at Keep It Simple Farm.  Our three kids, my two nieces, and one of my daughter’s friends each picked out a chick and we ended up with one Silkie and five Ffrizzles.  They are currently two weeks old so I now have four weeks to finish building a chicken coop.  Fortunately the first weekend was very productive.


My design is to have a chicken run that is six feet by ten feet with the coop being four feet by six feet giving a decent amount of space to explore.  Given we have raccoons hanging around in out backyard having the so plan is to have a solid wood floor and wrap the entire chicken wire in 1/2 inch hardware cloth to help protect those soon to be grown up chickens.


Mantis 4-cycle tiller/cultivator review – Day 1


A week before I was about to move to my new house with a much larger yard I got an email from the nice people at Mantis asking if I would like to review their 4 cycle tiller/cultivator.  Given I needed to start from scratch of a new garden and had a decent amount of land to use it on it sounded like a great idea.

The tiller came in the box requiring some basic installation requiring some basic tools.  This was pretty easy though guessing it was from some of the long days moving/unpacking but I had some trouble handles put on the right way.  Brain kept forgetting I had the thing upside down :)  Though after probably about 30 minutes I had the tiller assembled ready for its first mission…expanding the garden.


I previously pulled this ivy-like ground cover away with a rake and some gentle massaging by yanking on it pretty hard and was hoping to have the tiller do some of this heavy work for me.  The tiller had some serious power though the ivy just wanted to hang onto the tines and eventually had to remove them to get the mess I created cleared.


Though it had the power to clear this ground cover out this is probably not exactly its designed use so results probably should have been expected.

After clearing some ivy I decided to try digging into the ground a bit by pulling the throttle and walking backwards with it.  This caused the tiller to dig deep into the ground where I remembered that my new yard has rocks 3-4 inches down which one ended up getting stuck in the tines where I again had to remove them.  In the future I should reverse the tines to use as a cultivator unless I have cleared the rocks deeper ahead of time.


Though I was not too successful with my first use I admittedly was pushing the intended use of this tiller but I was very impressed with the ease of starting (after reading directions) and the power this tiller/cultivator has while still being light enough to pack around with minimal effort.

What is also pretty cool about this tiller is there are optional attachments such as aerator and dethatcher which gives some options to extend it’s functionality without having to take up much extra space in your shed.

My next mission for this tiller is to clear an area of grass under my youngest daughters playset before laying down some wood chips which I expect will go much smoother than this mission…

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