I’m not really sure where to start this year off…
The year began with such a bang of drama and craziness that all idea of time to reflect and plan got pasted by. None of the drama was my own but for those I care deeply about, and it was badly timed with some overtime shifts which left me feeling completely useless and unable to help.
Still standing back now and counting my blessings reminds me that I have come some way in gaining a work life balance as this time last year if I had been at work I would have been there for at least a week which seems like a life time compared to the day away I was…
The swollen river Wye last week – 17th January 2014
The swollen river Wye with the first signs of spring: catkins – 17th January 2014
The weather this year has started off rather wet. With a second year of flooding over the festival period. Again this was not really something that had any major effect on me personally but it’s something I feel it’s important to record.
There were not really any frosts until after the New Year and even now most mornings are wet and cold instead of cold and frostie. The ‘snow’ word has been mentioned but I am still to spot any on the forecasts for the area; a contrast to this time last year when we had a few feet of snow. This year the ground is just water-lodged.
23rd January 2014
I have lots of plans again for this year and will hopefully be able to put them in some order, before sharing them over the year here.
Lambing will be from the end of February… kidding will be in early May… seed sowing with start soon enough.
I started on my Christmas shopping, I’m still not convinced that Christmas in November is allowable, but I’m realising that planning is everything. For example under my normal rule of ‘do-not-even-try-to-talk-to-me-about-Christmas-until-December-the-first’ would not have allowed me to have sown carrots all those months ago to have carrots ready to be freshly harvested on Christmas morning, which I’m really looking forward to but without forward planning it wouldn’t be happening.
So I’m coming round to the idea that some Christmas before December is allowed, just not to much. I just find Christmas disappointing if I’ve been waiting since October for it, nothing can live up to that sort of build up.
I’m hoping for most of my Christmas presents to be homemade, but this was a new-ish book I knew someone wanted and I found it on Green Metroplis, there was only one copy on there and I know it won’t be there for long… In fact I’ve already bought it so it’s gone.
This is the photo my middle-sister took of me with my basket full of courgettes at the weekend, all harvested just minutes earlier from the ‘muck heap’ garden. I’ve never been keen on having ‘look at the camera’ photos taken, no matter how real your smile might be they always seem to have a fake ‘oh-my-god’ look about them.
The real point of the photo is the courgettes, other than the few potatoes that I’ve still digging up they’re the only produce being harvested from the veg garden. The purple sprouting, brussel sprouts and kale have all been caterpillared badly, I’m hoping that they will make a come back but that is going to take some time. I still have some kale and spring cabbage plants waiting to go out but I haven’t dared risk them yet, it wouldn’t take a day for them to get eaten with the amount of caterpillars still around. I took all the tomato plants out at the weekend as well; we haven’t had any fruit from them but they have been left pretty much to get on with it and seem to have blight and too many side shoots to have produced anything and what little fruit were on the plants were very small and turning a brown colour. Next year I’m going to grow bush types, then maybe they will fruit better just being left with out having the side shoots taken off and staking. I’ve already bought 100 yellow Tumbling Tom seeds from ebay and am looking for some red seeds as well. There is also a container tomato called ‘Garden Pearl’ which I’d like to grow as well.
On the plus side though we have had a few fair sized onions from the old spring onions I put in last year, we get old waste veg sacks from one of the local green grocers for the goats and often there are old bunches of spring onions in them. I only put them in to break up all the brassica plants to avoid cub root getting in but they’ve done well. They need eating now as they only have thin skins so won’t go through the winter. My free magazine-give-away strawberry plants are producing lots of runners as well, so that will mean extra fruit next year. I need to re-pot the older plants now as they still haven’t moved from the old bucket I put them in ‘for the time being’ when they arrived. The boxes that had potatoes in are coming in handy for potting things up and on, it’s turned the manure that they were grown in into really nice soil.
It’s a strange time of year really, there are still things that need doing in the garden but most of them are planning and preparing for next year jobs. Everything has started winding down a bit as well, the nights are drawing in and there is hardly anytime for good weather left, I’m still ready to get going and waiting for summer to happen and it’s already been and gone really!
Posted in Food, garden, goats, home grown food
Tagged caterpillar, courgettes, garden, photo, planning, potato, strawberry, summer, tomatoes