Monthly Archives: April 2011

Plant growing and sowing

What a difference a day makes, I started writing this yesterday and today when I have gone round all my pots again checking that I hadn’t missed anything off there were green shootings in most of the pots of soil from yesterday…

In spite of my best laid plans I have managed to lose track of what I have sown; some of it through my own laziness, “I will write labels later” kind of thing, and some of it because the permanent markers the I bought especially for writing on plant labels fades and washing off.

I have completely lost track of my garlic project and, other than the elephant garlic, have no idea which the other bulbs are and have just put them in so as not to lose the crop whilst trying to piece together what is what out. I’m sure it will still taste good but it would have been interesting to see the results of what did best.

Spring Greens - 20th April 2011

Spring Greens - 20th April 2011

Still to be sown: Carrots,  

Indoors waiting to appear: Poppies, sweetcorn, runner & bobby beans, courgettes, self-saved squash seed two types little green ones and last years Boston, peas, 100s & 1000s red toms, aubergines, strawberries, a module tray that I think contains some sort of flowers and possibly some sort of Brassica just starting to push up it’s tender green leafs

Soaking seeds - 15 April 2011

Soaking seeds - 15th April 2011

Outdoors waiting to appear: Cauliflowers, red & green Sprouts, Spring Greens, broccli, pansies, peas, parsnips and bush dwarf booby beans

Up, outside and waiting be potted on or planted out:  Spring Greens, Sunflowers, Sweetpeas, leeks, Boston Squash, Patty-Pan Summer squash, Green Bush courgettes, Jack O’ Lanterns pumpkins, beetroot, yellow cherry pear toms, sweet basil, purple sprouting, kale, parsley, chillies and lots of salad

In grown at allotment: Potatoes, garlic, cauliflowers, beetroot

Lent 2011; Done and dusted

Potting on plants with 'unwashed' hair - 20th April 2011

Potting on plants with 'unwashed' hair - 20th April 2011

I finished my Lention vows on Saturday, I haven’t done too badly but I haven’t done great either;

Keeping to my hours at work – I tried on the first week, tried again on the second week and then it all went out the window with things that ‘had to be done’. FAIL

Facebook –  Other than two occasions, which Rhys has assured me do not count, I have done it! But did ‘have’ log on once to try to contact my sister when our father was taken into hospital (and was rushed back in again on Sunday) and the other the very next day when to my horror one of the kids at work asked me about some of the people in my photos, which they shouldn’t have been able to access!!! Still haven’t worked out what setting is allowing them to either… So I didn’t manage to completely survive without it but did mostly.

Shampoo – I haven’t used any since March the 9th and the mixture that I am using (bicarb, vingar and tea) is working so well I don’t intend to either. My hair is clean, shiny and, well… Hair

The tiddler pot

I can never bare to thin out any of the seedlings that are technically too small when I am potting things on and so at the end of each ‘potting on’ I end up with a tiddler-pot;

Spring green's 'tiddler-pot' - 20th April 2011

Spring greens tiddler-pot - 20th April 2011

Little poser

On Saturday I stopped to take a photo of one of the lambs in one of the grit bins near to our house;

Lupin's lamb in the grit bin - 16th of April 2011

Lupins lamb in the grit bin - 16th of April 2011

Lupin’s lamb was one of the lambs born on ‘my watch’ and was a tiny little thing, so small in fact that we spent the day waiting for the next to arrive but there is just her; small and prefect.

Flat Lambs Daughter and Six were also on the green near by and so I turned to snap a few piccys of them grazing in the sun:

Flat Lambs Daughter & Six grazing in the sun - 16th April 2011

Flat Lambs Daughter & Six grazing in the sun - 16th April 2011

As soon as Six realised I was taking photos he pricked up his ears and started towards me as if to say “Ohh, photographs of me? Make sure you get my good side” which is very unusual behaviour for him as he has sadly taken on his mothers mistrust of us.

He is such a little bruiser of a lamb, and I was only to happy to oblige:

Take my picture! - 16th April 2011

Take my picture! - 16th April 2011

Happy birthday to me

Today is my 25th birthday; I have been on this earth for a quarter century.

May blossom - 26th May 2011

May blossom - 26th May 2011

It’s been a lovely weekend starting on Friday with more seed sowing (peas, beans, toms and the first squash) and then a lovely dinner cooked by lovely friends. Yesterday we started work on my plastic bottle greenhouse, the first two posts are in and ready for the back wall. It is finally becoming really!

Today I booked myself a slow start, mother let my chooks out whilst I spent some time having a shower, a cooked breakfast, including birthday cake and hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, and poking at things in my garden where things are taking off fast now. This was followed by a ‘party’ lunch at mothers with jelly and Cornish Clotted cream ice cream then this afternoon we bought a chicken pen back to my house so as I can bring some hens back to clear some ground before planting squashes and rounded the day off with some potato planting and roast potatoes with gravy for dinner.

Plant pots

I can be more than a little bit of a magpie when it comes to things to do with gardening; in the past this has been mostly seeds and plants but today it has been all about plant pots.

A few weeks ago there was an item in the local transition newsletter about recycling used plant pots and a message that someone had starting taking the used ones from one of the local garden centres as there are no recycling facilities locally and the company that they come from don’t want them back and to cut a long story short I collected a sack of them on the way back from work today.

I carried on to the ‘recycling center’ (or tip as I have always known it) to drop off some sacks of paper waste and other bits and as we were chucking the stuff into the different skips a man appeared with an arm load of perfectly useable plant pots so I piled up “I can make use of those if you don’t want them” so into the back of the van those and the other trailer load he had bought with him went!

Full circle

This is a post I have been trying to find time to write since Thursday evening, sunny weather seems to take up so much time…

Lambing was delightful, with almost all of it done and dusted in a week. Why can’t every year be that simple and straight forward? There was a few hiccups and lambs that were too big and so needed help but a week is so less tiring than three weeks.

Flat Lamb with her lambs - 28th March 2010

Flat Lamb with her lambs - 28th March 2010

There are still a handful of ewes who may or may not lamb this year but are showing no signs of being due any time soon, one of these being Flat Lamb’s daughter from last year and on Thursday afternoon she lambed!

She is still only a yearling and so it is not ideal that she was in lamb but as the whole flock run together on the common all year round it happens.

I got a phone call to say that she was lambing from MYS as she is my sheep. She had chosen a cool spot on the edge of the woods, not somewhere any of our ewes normally lamb but as it was so hot it made sence that she would choose a cooler place than on any of the greens.

I arrived shortly after 2pm and after about half an hour it became clear that she was having problems and was going to need help but even though she was straining she was still not happy about us catching her.

Most of our sheep will at least let themselves be caught if there is something wrong even if they don’t go a bundle on us the rest of the time but we have two sheep who are completely wild; Flat Lambs Daughter being one of them. She has every reason to hate us though – we were there when her mum was hurt and then took her away, we then had to chase them all around the village whilst they panicked as she wasn’t there and after we caught them we shut them in a shed (something that they had never been in before) where her mum died and since then she has completely mistrusted us in spite of the fact that both her mum and twin brother are overly friendly.

After a few failed attends to creep up on her whilst she was laid down staining we had to round her up with some of the other ewes and lambs before being able to catch her – all this time the clock was counting down to when me and MYS had to leave for work.

Once we’d caught her mother delivered the lamb who wasn’t breathing and had to be swung around before he sputtered into life; then there was a very worrying moment when it seemed Flat Lambs Daughter was going to turn her nose up and reject the lamb but after one lick it was clear she thought he was the most wonderful thing in the world and she even walked, instead of being dragged, into a shed to finish cleaning him up.

A few minutes old - 7th of April 2011

A few minutes old - 7th of April 2011

Flat Lamb's Daughter and lamb Six - 7th April 2011

Flat Lamb's Daughter and lamb Six - 7th April 2011

The lamb, now named ‘Six’ is a big lad, which is why she had such a problem delivering him, and in spite of the fact he was born not breathing was struggling to his feet before even being cleaned.

Up and about at breakfast time - 10th April 2011

Up and about at breakfast time - 10th April 2011

All this left less than 5 minutes to give her some water, change and get to work on time!!

Oh where oh where can my little cat be

Biscuit - 4th April 2011

Biscuit - 4th April 2011

This weekend has been an emotional wringer; late Saturday afternoon we let the cats out to roam around the garden whilst we were home, it started to get dark and we called them back in but only two arrived back. We waited some more, had dinner and it went completely dark; still no sign of Biscuit.

Rhys stayed up most of the night waiting for her to come back from wherever she was, still nothing and still no sign at 5am when I got up for the sheep run and still nothing when I got home. In fact nothing all day.

Sunday evening I sat outside in the dark listening and waiting; maybe if she had got shut in someones shed then I would hear her calling but nothing. I heard two cats growling at each other but only caught sight of one of them.

Monday morning I phoned all vets in the area, and in the two neighbouring area; still nothing. I made a poster and printed off a load before leaving for work, emailing Rhys asking to call in at the neighbours asking if they had seen her and leave a poster if there was no reply.

She was home safe and sound by the time I got in from work. She’d been hanging around for the whole time she was ‘missing’ and just playing silly buggers.

A Day in the Month – April 2011

FOR TODAY… A day late as I completely forgot that yesterday was the 1st of the month

Outside… I have lots of seeds come though on the patio, my strawberries are looking lovely and green and bushy (or the ones in the planter are any way) and across the road I can see a field full of ewes and lambs that belong to the farm down the road to me and lots of catkins on the trees.

I am thinking or plotting… A list of jobs and what I show be sowing today/this month

From the kitchen… I can’t decide if to have nettle or leek and potato soup or maybe even something egg based

I am wearing… A cardy and old trousers

I am thankful for… No one thing

I am creating… A summer full of home-grown food?? If that counts

I am going… To shut the chickens in later but nowhere else

I am reading… The Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar 2011, at the moment the section about producing seeds  

Here is a picture I want to sharing and why… This is a photo from Squidoo and I think is the design I am going to use for my plastic bottle green house; which I’m starting to build later this month

Plastic Bottle Green House

Plastic Bottle Green House