Introducing, Gus Gus

Two of our daughters had a fun afternoon making GuS Gus which is what they have named him, he is a scarecrow designed to keep the crows away from the chicken feed in the paddock, and it’s working. The crow numbers descending upon the food I was putting out, were growing by the day and once again we were spending our day clapping loudly every few minutes to get rid of them, along came Gus Gus and not a single crow has landed since then, brilliant, now I need one for the duck pen as well.

Easter weekend is a distant memory now and the weather really ought to be warming up but I hear we have a cold snap on the horizon and so the fleece I was going to remove from the fruit bushes and trees will remain in place for a little while longer. The rain we have had seems to becoming a typical Spring, although the air temperature is quite mild the rain once it sets in does not want to leave and it is soggy for days. The two together mean that the grass is growing nicely but it does not dry off in time to be able to cut it before the rain starts again, this is fine in the paddocks for the horses but for the lawn and the front drive it begins to look scruffy.

We have had some dry days inbetween and on one of those I managed to plant the potatoes, in fact it was quite sunny at times and so I had to wait for it to cloud over and dig the channels while the sun was in, then when it came out go sit in the shade, that’s just because I did not have the right clothing on nor did I put my suntan lotion on and I just wanted to get the job finished. I have four different types of potato this year, King Edward, Maris Bard, Casablanca, and Maris Piper, I still have room for some more if I can find any seed potatoes left in the stores.
The pear tree and the blueberry bushes are full of blossom so I am hoping for a good harvest from them this year, the pear tree is only a couple of years old and last year produced it’s first and only pear, this year hopefully there will be a few more. As I weeded the strawberry bed I noticed the flowers were beginning to form on those too, I need to get the timing right when netting them, too soon and the bees won’t be able to pollinate them, too late and the birds will eat the forming fruits. We also had our first picking of Asparagus for the year, which was delicious, it’s very nice raw and even better boiled and buttered! At the moment in the little shed I am able to offer, Rhubarb, Asparagus, Quail, Hen and Duck eggs, all of which get snapped up almost immediately. It won’t be long before the peas and broad beans are ready to go out there as well, I love it when I have plenty to sell and the comments are always positive which is a real feel good factor.

The ducklings are growing quickly and the decibels are getting louder when they see you and are ready for food or water, it’s almost deafening. The idea of getting the ducklings was to start replacing my existing flock as they are getting on for five years old, I am glad we decided to do this as one of the ducks died last week and so I think I have got the timing just right. The Norfolk Grey chicks are growing nicely and will soon need to be moved to a bigger area which I need to get ready for them this week. I have Quail in the incubator about to hatch any time today or tomorrow and I already have a waiting list for those so I hope it’s a successful hatch. Business has been brisk with the sale of the point of lay hens that came in a couple of weeks ago, I have more due in the middle of May along with goslings which I am looking forward to seeing. We have decided to increase our laying flock by 20 more birds to keep up with the demand for eggs, we are selling them as fast as the hens can lay them and with the weather warming up demand will get greater and so rather than having to put out the ‘sold out’ sign, we will just provide more eggs for sale, it might even mean that we get to eat some occasionally, as with most people who sell eggs at the gate you tend to put the customers first and yourselves second.

Photos of the rows of potatoes, some Lily of the Valley, and Gus Gus πŸ™‚

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