A lesson (or two) learn’t!

The weather has not improved much has it? The duck pen is looking like a world class mud wrestling ring and although the ducks dont  mind the same cant be said for the chickens, drastic steps had to be taken this week to move them from their muddy, wet enclosures, out onto the grass paddocks, we should have moved them at the beginning of Winter really, a lesson learnt ready for next year. Now you would think this would be a simple enough job, and it would have been if we did it my way, but my Husband decided that the huts needed moving to a fresh patch, it’s too wet I told him, in fact I told him constantly over two days! He chose to ignore my advice (and admitted later that he  wanted to prove me wrong, silly man, I am always right!) and consequently got stuck in the mud! With the van firmly stuck for the day we had to revert to plan A and leave the huts in situ until the fields dry enough to be able to get on them. We moved all the chickens over by hand and they were in their element, until bedtime, then at dusk they decided they wanted to go back to the old place! The sensible thing to do is move your chickens at night into the new hut and then let them out in the morning so they know where they are to go that night, but sometimes being sensible and having the time don’t fit together. So there we are chasing chickens all over the paddock trying to coax them into their new des res, a tin of sweetcorn later and they are all safely inside for the night!

The vegetable garden is still too wet to get on and do any weeding or digging over so I spent the day in the greenhouse on Saturday. The broad beans have been planted into seed trays and will hopefully get going in the next few days, and I have planted a couple of trays of salad leaf which will sprout very quickly and be the first home-grown greens of the year. The Rhubarb is coming up nicely and if you have not had it since you were a child I suggest you try it again, its one of those tastes that you forget you actually like, especially with custard! I have an excellent recipe for a Torte that I will publish on here separately, it was originally for Strawberry Torte but you can use it for any fresh fruit ( I made an apple one yesterday), it is very easy and quick to make, plus it does not seem to go wrong so that is a bonus!

I have quite a few Strawberry plants taken from last years runners, so I bought some hanging baskets and decided to make strawberry hanging baskets and sell them at the farm gate, likewise I have left over herbs from last year that I will do the same with those, it will be interesting to see if they sell, I am hoping they do and that I may even have to take orders!

As March is almost upon us the pace will begin to pick up, the first job will be to draw out the crop rotation plan so that we all know what is going where, when it was just me doing the gardening this wasn’t necessary as I had it all in my head, but now Hubby is helping I have to keep him on the straight and narrow or he is inclined to plant his potatoes wherever he wants to, he is keen so I don’t want to dampen his enthusiasm but he has not quite grasped the concept of rotating crops around each year so that soil pests and disease dont mount up and cause a crop failure. To be fair he has done an excellent job with the potatoes for the past 2 years, we had a good crop this year and have only just finished using them, we would have still been doing so if it had not been for such a hard winter, the storage area we used had snow drifting in and then it froze and so we lost a couple of sack fulls, yet another lesson learnt!

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