My son’s donkey has become an integral part of our garden
My son has spent the better part of the last year bothering me to buy him a donkey. He is not your typical 13 year old boy. He shuns TV and video games and spends his time on the sheep farm just outside of our community where he helps graze the sheep (I do as well when I have time) and build terraces and plants trees there as well. So I was not surprised he wanted a donkey. Well we finally gave in and added it to our growing list of animals – two dogs, a cat, a 6 chickens, and 3 doves. I quickly found that the donkey is an excellent creature to have – and not because she is an easy way to occupy my children’s attention. Here are four outputs that a donkey brings to any system.
- Her excrement is an excellent fertilizer and it beefs up my compost exponentially
- Her appetite naturally clears out unwanted grass and weeds making it hard for snakes and other predators dangerous to chickens to hide on our property
- We have had challenging winds that can harm flower growth on our trees. Her house is carefully placed to block the wind tunnel that had been there. Our trees are happier and so is our dog.
- Foxes are scared of donkey and so she offers extra protection for our chickens.
The lesson in all of this is that if we observe what we are given – especially animals we may not think are very helpful, we can almost certainly see positive inputs that we can harness for our permaculture system.