Remember some drunkard drove into our porch earlier this year? This is what remains of our original brick porch columns, dumped by my contractor because I couldn't bear the thought of just chucking them into a landfill. At first I thought I'd use them to edge my vegetable beds and I spent many a sweaty hour, digging a little trench in which to pile them up and then hauling the bricks, fitting them in just so...only to have the hose knock chunks of brick into the path every time I watered, and the kids to trip over them...it didn't work. I think I then moved at least a couple of barrowfuls of them to edge some other path, before deciding it didn't please me aesthetically.
If I was going to re-use these bricks, I was going to have to find a more discreet location. Maybe in the foundation of a cob bench or wall?
Before such a project materialised I came home one afternoon to find both ducks and a couple of hens had escaped to the farm next door! Chickens, like most birds, enjoy a good dust bath, and they spend a great deal of their time scratching and pecking for grubs and insects. As a result, there were areas along the fence line where they'd inadvertantly dug under it. After retrieving them (and really, why do geese get all the credit? - a duck chase is just as fruitless), I rolled a few logs and some other cut brush along the bottom of the fence. It worked in a pinch, but I could use those logs in a couple of hugelkultur beds. What I needed was...a pile of bricks.
I created a little rubble bed along the fenceline and was feeling quite pleased with myself. As I dug into the main brickpile, I unearthed all manner of critters - lizards, crickets, snails, spiders, blind snakes, and various other insects scurried out of my way. Hey, do you know what chickens just looooove? Lizards, crickets, snails, spiders...
Pile of rubble = chicken buffet.
I never said it was pretty, but does something this multi-functional need to be?