Monthly Archives: February 2009

In season this week #26

VEGETABLES

cauliflower | celeriac | chicory | leeks | purple sprouting broccoli | rhubarb | spring onions

FRUIT & NUTS

bananas | blood oranges | kiwi fruit | lemons | oranges | passion fruit | pineapple | pomegranate

Interesting that there’sno meat in season this week…

Action!

A while ago now I signed up to starting a ‘Daily Good Life’ YouTube channel with some other bloggers, Lucy from The Smallest Smallholding started it off. The idea is that we all take it in turns to post up a sort of video diary of what self-sufficiency things we’re doing or interested in and hopefully get some more people interested in the whole subject along the way.

So far I’ve made a few films but today I made my first ‘vlog’, so now instead of writing about what I did at the weekend you can watch it, let me know what you think…

(this was added on Tuesday but took ages to load and I’d gone to bed by that time and then my internet connection was down yesterday)

Moon peas

I sowed the other half of the pea seeds tonight, these are planted on the right moon phase so as I can compare them to the seeds sown last Sunday on a flower phase.

Sunday’s tray are already starting to push through, the compost has gone all bumpy where as the freshly sown tray has a smooth flat finish with my hand prints clearly visible.

Quail chicks

A & M Texas chick

One of my A&M Texas chicks

Close up of a A & M Texas quail chick

Close up of A&M Texas quail chick

A 'normal' quail chick breed from my own bids, this little chap is the smallest of the hatch but seems the mostly friendly, or he doesn't seem to mind people any way.

A 'normal' quail chick breed from my own birds, this little chap is the smallest of the hatch but seems the mostly friendly, or he doesn't seem to mind people any way.

The start of spring

This weekend really felt like it was nearing summer, or spring at least. It was warm and felt crisp and fresh outside, lovely weather for working out doors in.

There is still a little bit of snow here and there, in little sheltered spots and piled up in the corners of carparks.

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About an hour after we started work

Me and Rhys sorted ‘that pile’ to move the meat chicken house and run so as the new goat house can start going up. When I was little we use to have a rope swing here, hung onto the chestnut tree, but as we’ve all grown up and stopped using the swing (which has now rotted through) this bit of the garden tends to get used as a bit of a storeage area, and not a neat storeage, this isn’t helped by the fact that it’s very close to the garden fence so it’s very easy to pile up tin roofing sheets we’ve been given, etc. ‘until we need them.’

With chicken house and run in place on Sunday evening

With chicken house and run in place on Sunday evening

By the time we’d finished it didn’t look to bad at all, there are still lots of piles of things, but they are sorted piles now, and we managed to get rid of about 20 sacks of manure through Freecycle as well which helped a lot. Rhys killed his first chicken too, one of the cockerals that was hatched out last summer.

It wasn’t all a good weekend though, on Saturday morning I found one of my new quail dead in the bottom of it’s cage, and then during the day one of the cats, most likely my cat, managed to knock the lid off the brooder and fished out and killed one of the chicks. We also had to rush a sheep to the vets, one of last years lambs, who wasn’t looking right n the morning, was sat all by himself on the green and just looked ‘odd but ran away when I tried to see what was wrong, then later when he came back to the house he was obviously in a lot of pain. The vet couldn’t find a problem, gave him some pain killers and some anti-inflamitries and we kept him in over night. He was dead in the morning.

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The sweetcorn heap

I’ve come up with a plan to get more use and out of the muck heap I’m planning on growing sweetcorn and courgettes on, which at the moment is over flowing and about as tall as me possible even a little taller. So I spent Sunday evening reading all about timings for peas and sweetcorn and have planted a big tray of peas seeds which should just crop before the sweetcorn is ready to be planted out. And if they don’t then we haven’t lost much, I’ve got loads of pea seeds and am using a huge bag of ‘Feltham First’ which was only a couple of quid from Countrywide, so at worst the goats get a really good dinner in a few months. It wasn’t the right moon phase for planting pea seeds so I will plant the other half of the bag in a few days and compare results.

My middle-sisters goat kidded yesterday, a single boy. Lambing next and towards the end of that my goat is due. 2009 is all go already…

In season this week #25

VEGETABLES

cauliflower | celeriac | chicory | jerusalem artichoke | kale | leeks | parsnips | potatoes (maincrop) | purple sprouting broccoli | rhubarb | swede

FRUIT & NUTS

bananas | blood oranges | kiwi fruit | lemons | oranges | passion fruit | pineapple | pomegranate

MEAT

guinea fowl | hare

In season week #24

VEGETABLES

brussels sprouts | cauliflower | celeriac | chicory | jerusalem artichoke | kale | leeks | parsnips | potatoes (maincrop) | purple sprouting broccoli | rhubarb | swede

FRUIT & NUTS

bananas | blood oranges | kiwi fruit | lemons | oranges | passion fruit | pineapple | pomegranate

MEAT

guinea fowl | hare | venison

Not there yet… back to normal I mean

pict01591There is still snow on the ground here, and more fell last night. There was also a power cut, I’m not sure how long it lasted.  I woke up to the smell of a burnt orange candle and Rhys telling me that there was a power cut but not to worry, he’d already put a blacket over the chicks to keep the heat in. Thank goodness I didn’t put another batch of eggs in the incubator like I’d planned to, the weather isn’t at all warm at the moment and the temperature is all over the place as the stove doesn’t stay in over night so it’s very cold in the mornings and then much warmer later. Not good incubation conditions.

pict01471The quail chicks are doing well though, eating and drinking very well and feathering up well. I think they’re growing well too but it’s hard to tell when you see them everyday. I cleaned them out last week and took some photos, I couldn’t find a box without gap in, for handles etc., so I put them in the old tin bath we have for bring wood in.

I’ve got a lot of seedlings coming on nicely, cabbage, rocket and spinach. And I’ve potted up the last of the onion sets I had in a paper bag in paper pots ready to plant out when the snow has cleared. I really want to get out into the garden and start things, I keep telling myself that this weather is a very good start to the year, garden wise, as it’ll kill off lots of the bugs.

The white stuff

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Well, there’s no prizes for guessing that we’ve got snow along with most of the rest of the country, or that’s what it feels like, and it’s not that I’m a grump but snow seems to create so much extra work and after almost a whole week of it, and more forecast, I’m really tired.

We live on a very steep hill and have been snowed or iced in every day since Tuesday. The sheep are all very feed up, the chickens and ducks are standing around looking sorry for themselves and we’ve had to bring the cows home and have a vet out to Sunshine who just isn’t herself. Primrose is very cross that she’s been bought in and is shouting at any and everyone who walks down the road just to make sure everyone knows just how unhappy about it all she is and tries pushing her way out pass you whenever you go in with food or water.

The outside tap has frozen up so we’re filling watering can after watering can of water in the bath and carrying it out through the house to get water to everyone.

I started off the week enjoying it but it’s just so tiring now.

Feeding time at the cows the other morning, very short as my barreries ran out

In season this week #23

VEGETABLES

brussels sprouts | cauliflower | celeriac | chicory | jerusalem artichoke | kale | leeks | parsnips | potatoes (maincrop) | rhubarb | swede

FRUIT & NUTS

bananas | blood oranges | kiwi fruit | lemons | oranges | passion fruit | pears | pineapple | pomegranate

MEAT

guinea fowl | hare | venison