Hubby has begun his two weeks busmans holiday, taking a break from his regular job of plumbing and spending his time at home on the farm catching up with numerous jobs that I can’t do on my own. So far this weekend we have finally moved the chickens into their new house, cleared the paddocks of various crap that gets left lying around and now that the tractor is finally operational again, dragged half the paddock while the chickens are in the other half. He has also cleared the wood pile that was growing at the front of the house, cut most of it up and stored it ready for Winter use. The orchard has been cleared of stinging nettles and debris from the trees, the place is starting to look tidy and it’s only Monday!
Meanwhile, apart from helping him now and again, I have been picking produce and getting it ready for storage or sale. I have had a bumper crop of onions and garlic, they are now drying nicely in the greenhouse. I decided to have a go at plaiting the garlic, how hard can it be after all I do have three daughters and so plaiting hair was second nature when they were younger, turns out it’s not quite so easy to do it with garlic! I have made a bit of an effort but I think the French would laugh me out of the garlic store, it will be ok for hanging in the back room ready for use over the next few months. Cucumbers are growing thick and fast, I keep thinking I really only need to plant one but always end up planting about four, consequently I have an abundance of them as they seem to grow really well here, they won’t be wasted though, If I don’t sell them or eat them them the chickens will be very glad of them. The tomatoes are just beginning to ripen at long last and I can just see peppers beginning to form, they may produce something larger if the weather stays warm enough. Of the new produce I experimented with this year the cucamelon that I decided to try turn out to be a bit of a waste of time, they are tiny and I mean tiny, about the size of a grain of rice lol, the samphire never even materialised but the Water Melons, oh my, they are a different story all together, at the minute they are the size of a small football and growing by the day, I can’t wait to try them and hope they live up to expectations.
The fruit cage is practically harvested now, there are some raspberries left but I found I was competing with the wasps and I didn’t want to risk grabbing hold of one only to get stung in the process. The soft fruit may be coming to and end but we still have the tree fruits to look forward too, I had a quick look at the trees today and there looks like a haul on all three of the plums trees, greengage, Victoria and damson, if I can get them before the wasps. The apple trees are looking good as well, all except the cider Apple which does not appear to have a single Apple on it, not surprising really as it has been heavily laden for the past few years, I guess it needs a rest this year.
Bella the cat is having to have more treatment after being speyed, she has developed an abscess, not surprising when she removed the rest of her stitches herself and Patch is off to have his off, if you know what I mean, at the end of the week so I will have two convalescing pets to deal with.
The egg situation is as usual not enough eggs for the amount of customers, I could sell twice as many very easily the only trouble is I don’t have time to look after twice as many hens so it’s first come first served and disappointment for anyone else.
On the wildlife front the visits from the Red Kite are becoming more frequent, nice to see It in the air such beautiful, graceful birds, we have had a deer visiting the corner paddock, I haven’t told our eldest yet as she is trying to grow the grass in there for the horses 😝 There are an abundance of small birds still around they seem to change though, earlier in the year it was Blue Tits and dunnocks and now we have wrens and finches flittering about.
I have been looking to buy grass seed to repair the paddocks, you wouldn’t believe how many types of seed mixes there are for different types of ground, I have decided on a mix for clay soil as apparently it will come back quicker In the spring, I have also ordered a seed mix especially for paddocks with chickens, not only does it have grasses and herbs that have longer roots which will bring up vital minerals from the sub soil but it also attracts more insects for the chickens to forage on, all in all diversifying their food sources and hopefully improving their wellbeing.
The photos are of my Melons, sorry to disappoint anyone who was expecting anything other than fruit! Hubby happily back on his tractor, our growing woodpile ready for the cold months, the onion and garlic harvest and the cucumbers.
Have a fabulous week 😎