Monthly Archives: April 2009

Counting shoots

Everything is starting to come through nicely now, the two rows of spring onions that I was worried weren’t going to do anything they had taken that long are through. The kale and the rocket are nice little plants now (or most of them are, there are a few that would be if it weren’t for the slugs) and the french beans are stiring in their paper pots. Up on the allotment the beetroot, carrots and peas are just making their way through the ground.

Just waiting for signs of the leeks, caulies and cabbage now.

Allotment

I’ve spent the last few days playing around with Flickr, trying to get it to load a side bar with three photos of the allotment on. My idea was to each week take a new photo and load it so as it showed how the allotment was growing from the start and through the seasons, but for some reason though it’s just not working and every time I load the bar it comes up with three big red X’s instead of pictures. 

So in the mean time, this is what it looked like last Monday:

allotment-13042009allotment-13042009-11allotment-13042009-2

 

And this is what it looks like today:

pict0110  pict0112

These were taken from the top end of the plot so it looks like a lot more has been done but it’s getting there. The second bed has one pea starting to come through and one little beetroot seedling making it’s way through so in a few days to will really get going, but I think it is going to need watering most nights now as it’s drying out and the soil has started to crack today.

I’m planning to start taking a few photos every Monday to build up a record of how it grows, and one day I might even get Flickr to work as well.

In season this week #33

VEGETABLES

broccoli*, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, jersey royal new potatoes*, leeks, lettuces & salad leaves, onions, potatoes (maincrop), purple sprouting broccoli, radishes*, rhubarb*, rocket*, samphire, spinach*, spring onions*, watercress*, wild nettles*

FRUIT

bananas*[i], kiwi fruit*[i], lemons[i], oranges[i], passion fruit[i]

HERBS, FLOWERS, FUNGHI, NUTS

basil, chervil, chives*, coriander, dill*, mint, mushrooms (cultivated), parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leaf), sorrel*

MEAT

beef, chicken, lamb, pork, rabbit, turkey, wood pigeon*

New Chooks

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There are thirteen ex-free range hens now living where the meat chickens use to be. All of our other hens are starting to ‘get on’ a bit and so we need some new egg layers. And they are already laying eggs, one yesterday and five today.

 pict0104

Our first egg from them

I like the number thirteen, ‘a bakers dozen’, it reminds me of icing and current-buns.

Birthday Girl

Today is my birthday; I’m twenty-three years old but I somehow feel age-less, I feel like I have done a lot of things and that if tomorrow I had to stop I wouldn’t turn around and say “but I still haven’t…” or “I wish I could change…” but I also feel very young and like they’re are a lot of things still to do.

In season this week #32

VEGETABLES

broccoli*, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, jersey royal new potatoes*, leeks, lettuces & salad leaves, onions, potatoes (maincrop), purple sprouting broccoli, radishes*, rhubarb*, rocket*, samphire, spinach*, spring onions*, watercress*, wild nettles*

FRUIT

bananas*[i], kiwi fruit*[i], lemons[i], oranges[i], passion fruit[i]

HERBS, FLOWERS, FUNGHI, NUTS

basil, chervil, chives*, coriander, dill*, mint, mushrooms (cultivated), parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leaf), sorrel*

MEAT

beef, chicken, lamb, pork, rabbit, turkey, wood pigeon*

Lymes Disease

To start with I have a couple of corrections to make, firstly, Flat Lamb who up until this year has always  had twins (apart from the first year she lambed when she had a single black ram lamb, if I’m going to be completely correct) this year had a white ewe lamb and a black ram lamb, this year had a two ram lambs. Not one of each like I said before.

Secondly, when I said we now had a nice little herd of four badger faced ewe lambs, I meant we had a nice little herd of badger faced ewes which it would appear actually included the two badger faced ewes that we already had but still a nice little herd all the same.

On Sunday Flat Lambs white lamb was very stiff and was walking around like he had wet he’s knickers. We couldn’t find any obviously wrong with him so he was bought in and given a dose of anti-biotics to see if he was better in the morning, he wasn’t so me and mother took him to the vets who checked him over and found a little tick that we had missed.

I haven’t seem a sheep tick since I was very young but they carry Lymes disease and ‘inject’ poison both of which could be caursing the stiffness, such a simple little thing that we didn’t even think of. The lamb is now home living in the living room, we gave up on carpets many years ago, as he can’t bend down to drink from his mother and is on a course of anti-biotic.

Growing season

The 'Self-Sown' Garlic bed about a month ago, it is very different now.

The 'Self-Sown' Garlic bed about a month ago, it is very different now.

Well, it was a lovely Bank Holiday but as normal I woke up this morning and wasn’t sure which day it was. What day it isn’t doesn’t really matter when I’m at home, animals still need taking care of, wood still needs collecting and ‘bigger’ house jobs depend more on the weather than what day of the week it is and so they all just roll nicely into one with time out at work just getting in the way of getting on with living. I never use to feel like that about work though…

Any way, the weather was really nice all weekend, I’ve even started to catch the sun on my face. We have now signed all the deeds to our allotment, so we have started work on them. It’s very exciting and I’m been having dreams about what is going to be growing in which bed… I know, very sad and unfortunately I think both mother middle-sister have been having the same sort of dreams.

pict0160The site is on old grazing land and was only plougheda few weeks ago so the soil is only really turned with the turf on the underside, not very easy to dig. We’ve been told by a local farmer that the land is very hungery so we’ve been taking lots of manure (we FINALLY have a use for it!) up there, three car loads later and we’ve only really just covered one bed with it, but really that bed is going to need a few more sacks before it can be called ‘completely’ covered.  On the second bed me and Rhys have mostly dug it over and sown peas down the middle, then carrots on one side and beetroot down the other and then covered it in the very large sheet of bubble wrap that work’s new photocopier was delivered in (they all said I was just like a child, more please with the wrapping then the item within) to keep the warmth and moister in while the seeds get going.

At home all but one verity of the early potatoes have been planted, unfortunately one of the cats, Tit-tat, knocked over the trays of chitting poatoes so I have no idea which are which anymore, I do know however that the ones lef to sow aren’t Shetland Blacks like the label says so they must have already been planted. I spent a very pleasant evening sitting outside round a campfire chatting with mother while she tried to dye some wool and I made paper pots and sowed the first dwarf french bean seeds. I also managed to sow leeks, half a dozen early courgettes, a dozen green curly kale and a dozen cauliflowers. 

And with that, I am proud to announce the growing season officially started in our house! (tough cookies Mother, I got there first!)

Hakim

"Won't stand still... places to be, sheep to bother!"

"Won't stand still... places to be, sheep to bother!"

Well, he has finally moved out of the kitchen in with the other goat kids and lambs and is very lovely, it’s so nice to have baby goats of my own round.

And more are on the cards for the next few days…

Sheep up-date

Lambs sunbathing on an old bonfire patch

Lambs sunbathing on an old bonfire patch

We have 18 lambs now, including 4 badger faced ewe lambs and some black ewe lambs as well.

Cobweb had triplets again but they were possibly premature, one was still born and another one just faded away after it was born. Her remaining one is doing well though.

pict0125Maizie had a giant lamb, it was so big it had to be delivered one foot at a time as they were too big to come out together. After it was born Maizie just stood there with a look of shock on her face, even when I got home from work you could tell she was still sore. Her lamb is as big as our three week old lambs and had to kneel down for it’s first ever feed it’s that big but she is doing well with it.

There is still no news from the police, they are waiting for trading standards to carry out a post-mortem and ‘confirm the cause of death’, like it’s not clear. Trading standard phoned on Wednesday to say that they’re still awaiting the results, as it’s Good Friday now we’re not going to hear anything at all until at least Tuesday, two weeks to the day after it happened.

Both the local papers have run stories about it:

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From The Forester and The Review carried this story.