Good morning, we have had a mixed bag of weather over the last week but yesterday was glorious, lots of sunshine and great temperatures for the time of year. We have to embrace those days when they come as they will be fewer and further between from now until the end of February!! The rain that we had in the previous couple of days has very quickly turned the farm into a World Champion mud wrestling arena, especially in the duck pen! The is when the exercise routine begins, a lot of calories are used up trudging through mud on a daily basis, there are unexpected leg extensions and lunges to contend with, and who needs dumbbells when there are water buckets to transport to the remotest areas of the paddocks :s
The chickens are not as keen as the ducks when it comes to mud and I do feel sorry for the younger ones in the runs, so on alternate days they all get let out to roam around, at least they can walk around on dry firm ground for a while. The veg garden is all but done now and so having the chickens and ducks picking over the grubs and worms is beneficial, plus they leave a few presents around that help to enrich the soil 🙂 There is still quite a bit of tidying up to do on the veg patch but at the minute I am still trying to decorate the living room/office ready for Christmas, it’s nearly done just a bit more painting and then I can concentrate on fleecing up delicate shrubs ready for the bad weather. I lost so many last year that I don’t want to make the same mistake again, it’s mostly fruit and herbs such as Figs and Rosemary, I also need to cover over the Dahlia bed which was newly planted last year. In my last garden I tried digging up the bulbs and storing them but they rotted away and I found I had better luck if I left them in the ground and covered them sufficiently with straw and fleece. The Herb garden has had a good mulch of well-rotted manure and I am hoping that next year it will really take off in terms of foliage. It is situated underneath a large crab apple tree which seemed like a good idea at the time but it takes too much moisture and gives too much shade! Putting the manure on will hopefully provide a slightly richer more moisture retentive ground that they can romp away in. If it does not work I will have to consider relocating the whole area to a sunnier corner 😦
I dug up the rest of the Sweet Potato plants, they were not a lot better that the few we had the week before, but not a total disaster, I have potted up some of the plants to see if they will make through the Winter if kept in the greenhouse and will try planting them in sacks as I don’t think the ground type is particularly suited to them. Not the great success that I hoped they would be but not too disastrous either more of a learning curve!
Talking of learning curves reminded me of an expression that we used when we first came here, I used to say that the whole experience was less of a learning curve and more of a sharp bend!! We take things more in our stride these days and are less anxious about failing if things don’t go according to plan, a well-known local farmer was spotted the other day chasing an escaped sow and her many piglets which were spilling all over the verge and road outside the entrance to the farm, I am comforted to know that these little episodes happen to even the most experienced farmers among us 😉
Tonight’s dinner is roast beef and all the trimmings plus an apple pie so I had better go and get on with peeling veg and stoking up the fire ready to cook everything. I should have done it yesterday but to be honest I had a bit of a headache :p it was caused by something I am going to name as ‘wine flu’ !! Its one curve I have never quite learnt from 😉