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Old 05-16-2019, 11:34 PM
Location: Puna, Hawaii
2,149 posts, read 2,339,806 times
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In the tropics we have four growing seasons but growing Irish style potatoes is a finicky process because they don't like the heat. A solution is to pile straw on top of the soil and keep piling it on as the green parts grow to try and keep the tubers as cool as possible.

The problem was that this year, we bought a bale of straw that turned out to be barley straw that had gone to seed before it was harvested. And as we laid the straw down we kept unwittingly planting barley in our potato patch.

Chickens to the rescue.

We accidentally left our straw bale uncovered and in just a few days our yard and many feral chickens scratched through the entire bale and spread it out over about 5x the bale size. And they found and ate every damn barley seed in the bale. Along with some weeding we were able to use the "chicken sterilized" straw and snuff out the unwanted barley in our potato patch.

Nature gave us a problem, and nature solved it.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:49 AM
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... or you could have harvested barley for beer instead of potatoes for vodka...
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