Don’t get me wrong, we have had some lovely sunny days in May, but overall the temperatures are cold and it’s been a disappointing month weather wise. Normally by now we can look forward to discarding the jumpers and extra layers of clothing but not this year, I am still having to put on a coat in the mornings and taken to wearing a gillet even indoors! The long range forecast predicts a colder than average summer too, not good news for the vegetable plot, things are growing but not at a great rate, I am mindful of the ‘be careful what you wish for’ curse, after all I am the last person who wants wall to wall sunshine, but if the temperatures could lift a little I would be most grateful :)
In the veg garden I have planted up artichokes, squash, peas and beans this week and filled the poly tunnel with tomatoes, aubergine and peppers, the other tunnel has cucumber and water melon sat on the ground waiting for them to grow a bit more before they can be tied into their climbing apparatus. The rhubarb is continuing to grow well and I have harvested and sold at least twenty bundles so far, the asparagus is a little slower but it continues to push through so not too bad considering. I think fruit is going to be a bumper year this year judging by the amount of blossom and fruit setting, luckily as far as the apples and plums are concerned, I had already put grease bands around the trunks and I have set codling traps in the branches, you may remember that last year the grubs made around eighty percent of the fruit unusable, this year I hoped to have knocked that on the head. The only fruit that is not looking good this season are the Blueberries, for some reason they have not liked the over winter conditions and as a consequence there is very little fruit on them, I guess you can’t win them all.
The goslings are growing daily, not surprising considering the amount of grass they are eating, they have already been moved to a third grass area. They were in the garden keeping the lawn down for me, it was alright until they decided that veg looked more tempting, I barricaded them in but they always seemed to find a way through so I was constantly herding them back to their quarters. The Guinea Fowl lasted exactly four days before the wind blew the gate open and they haven’t been seen since, completely disappeared, probably made a beeline for the hedgerow in the paddocks and after spotting a fox the next night at dusk, I doubt they lasted long out there. Bella has still not had her kittens yet but it can’t be much longer, I would hazard a guess at this week being the week, then it will be a game of hide and seek trying to find out where she has decided to nest.
I find this time of year my time is stretched much more thinly between tasks such as housework, cooking, bookkeeping, gardening, general tidying of the the farm and animal husbandry as a consequence I always feel that I can’t get a job done properly, each job always seems to be ‘important’ although at this time of year ‘urgent’ comes into play as well. If the grass is getting long in the driveway and rain is forecast, that has to go to the top of the list, if it’s left then the grass shoots through making it harder to cut, if it looks like a dry day, the temptation is to be out on the garden all day but then the housework goes to the bottom of the list and I forget to put the washing on, by the time I remember, it looks like rain again, going round in circles like a headless chicken springs to mind. I like order and control in my life and this time of year goes to pot a bit, I will be spread even more thinly when the soft fruits begin to ripen and jam making season is upon us, I will either need more hours in the day or an extra pair of hands ;)
Have a good week :)