The chickens were doing a half decent job of tilling, but unfortunately I realized that I didn't have the time to let them do their thing - peas, radishes, and broccoli can be planted now. I looked into renting a rototiller, and it wasn't too expensive to pick one up at Home Depot for the afternoon. I thought it might be tough to use, but if you've ever ridden a motorcycle it's the same set of steps. engine switch on, fuel tank on, choke on, etc. I even had no issues with the pull start - I have wimpy girl-arms.
So I sent Mike and Nathan out to go shopping (he has a separated shoulder, tilling is out), and got to work.
The tough part was the tilling itself. We had some thick grass and uneven ground, and my arms, shoulders, and back took the brunt of it. It had a habit of getting stuck in the ground requiring a lot of brute strength to lift out, and I stalled it a few times. But, after a few breaks for lunch and cold water, it was mostly done.
There are a few small clumps of grass I need to really dig out, and the compost/peat mixture that was in the raised bed last year needs to be redistributed evenly across the whole garden.