Good Morning, well nearly afternoon, I had to go to the dreaded dentist this morning and have only just got back so by the time I have written and published it will probably be afternoon.
We had another busy weekend finishing off the poly tunnel, we had some help from my Stepdad which was much appreciated or I don’t think it would have been finished, as it was I could not believe how quickly the day went and was inclined to think he was fibbing when he said it was 5.40pm and time to go home, I had thought it was only about 3.30! We weeded it yesterday and it is now ready to be planted up which I will try to get around to this afternoon and evening. Probably the first things going in will be tomatoes as they are quite far behind for the time of year and hopefully they will go full steam ahead once they are in there.
During the week my Mum came over and we planted up the brasicca bed, that is now full of cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli, the plants are a bit small due to lack of Sun but hopefully as we are predicted some warmth they will pick up quickly.
We have a few strange visitors to the farm now and again and this weekend was no exception, while we were doing the tunnel a car full of people arrived and got out, normally people are here to buy eggs or chickens, but this family wanted a look round and a cup of tea!!! They thought we were a farm cafe, I have no idea why as there is no such indication on the board outside, maybe it was the horse hotel bit that made them think so, needless to say we had quite a chuckle at that one 🙂
Talking of summer visitors, the swifts are back again this year, they come every summer and nest in the large stable block, we always keep an eye on them as they have a habit of nesting where the cats can reach or where the nest will be blown off the ledge by the wind. At the moment they are scouting for a good spot, dive bombing people while they are doing it, one livery nearly had a head on collision with one on Saturday, as she came out of the side door, the swift was flying in.
I had a moment of hope on the Tortoise front last week, I looked up from the greenhouse where I was doing some potting on and saw the tortoises out in the garden, great I thought, they have woken up but when I went to look they were definitely dead and something must have pulled them out of their hut. Sadly that is the end of them, I can only think that they must have woken during a warm spell, eaten, and then gone back to sleep which is fatal if the temperature drops again.
Two lives have ended but we have plenty of new life here, the Quail caught me by surprise on Sunday morning as I had not expected them to hatch until tomorrow. In total 34 have hatched so far, that’s pretty good, they are tiny little things and I had to quickly get the brooder box sorted out, normally chicks go out into a box in the stable with a lamp but these are so small we made a special one that can stay indoors, it is made of a plastic storage box with a red bulb screwed to the inside, it means that we can keep them indoors and has the added bonus of being able to watch and observe them. They wriggle about like a tub of worms, each one trying to get nearest the warm spot. I have taken a couple of pictures, one is of them in the brooder box and the other is of little ones that have just hatched, they stay in the incubator until their feathers dry out then they are moved in with the others.
I had expected the hens to have hatched out chicks by now but as yet there is no sign of any, they have been messing about swapping eggs here and there and so I took some from one hen and put them under a different broody in another pen, remember the one that kept going broody but I had to make her get off as her eggs would not be fertile, well I decided that as she was persistently sitting there I would help her out a bit, hopefully she will manage to hatch one or two.
I had a quick trip to the garden centre on Sunday to pick up some more seeds, I went to get Melon plants but actually theirs were no further forward than mine so I decided not to bother, it seems even the professionals are having problem getting plants to put on any growth. While I was there I thought I would take a look at the chickens they were selling, I got the shock of my life when I saw that they had Crested Cream Legbars for sale at £54.99!!!!!!!!!!! OMG these are the next lot of eggs I will be hatching out but I will not be charging anywhere near that price, the phrase ‘rip off britain’ is spreading into the chicken market!