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Agriscaping Week 19 - The Raised Bed Wall, the Pergola, and Petting Chickens

This week, I’m sharing about a couple of projects that have been moving along in the background as we’ve been working on the yard. These two were where we chose to hire an outside contractor to do the work, in order to get it done correctly and quickly. The first was a raised garden bed for us to do a lot of our vegetable growing in. The vegetable gardens in the raised bed will be divided from one another by five smaller fruit trees, which eventually should get passive water from the veggie watering, and give shade to the gardens. This project went very quickly and smoothly, and we were really happy with the result!

The second project has been much more of a thorn in our sides. The contractor we hired seemed great at first but then there was delay after delay after delay, and the finished product was not at all the quality we expected. The pergola has finally been built, but we are still not happy with the finished product. Nearly 8 months later, we are thinking of asking him come and fix everything to look like what we initially expected it to, or remove it entirely...and/or go to the Better Business Bureau with our issues. Oh the joys of hiring a contractor to do the work. The irony is that now my husband sees how easy it was to build, and that he could have done a much better job for much less than we paid to have it done. We may end up doing it that way yet! But we’ll see what ends up happening.

That said, I do love having the patio shaded. Putting a pergola there definitely has added to the value of the patio and allows us to be out there enjoying the space, even in the summer.

The last piece of this post is regarding the chickens. They are growing up, and have been moved to the backyard. They are also getting more social, and my son has convinced them to sit on his lap more or less comfortably, which is fun to see. Small children are obviously hard on animals, but these two chicken breeds (Black Astralorp and Buff Orpington) are extremely forgiving and willing to be picked on by little kids. In Phoenix, and especially in a neighborhood where chickens aren’t allowed by right (we rely on our neighbors’ willingness to let us have them), I would definitely recommend the Black Astralorps as hands-down the best breed. They are much quieter than the Buffs - very chill and forgiving birds!

Keywords: Phoenix backyard chickens, Urban homestead, Self Sufficiency in AZ, Best chicken breed for neighborhood, Best chickens for Arizona

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