Firstly, sorry it’s been so long since I last posted, life has been busy in every way. Our grandchildren are, as expected growing daily, and it is my belief that everything must stop for time with them, it’s precious time, unrecoverable time, important time, much more important than blogging, gardening, cleaning or even cooking. Of course the animals still need feeding and cleaning but everything else, can and does have to wait a while.
Having said that things are moving along nicely although I wish the weather would settle a little more into a pattern that we can work with, it’s either hot or cold not much in between. A fair amount of the veg is now planted but there are bare patches of soil still waiting and what is planted out is not exactly romping away. In the poly tunnel I have been picking, mangetout, spring onions, baby beetroot, raddish and lettuce, I also have new potatoes in there but they are not ready yet and some broad beans that are just beginning to pod. Outside I have planted cauliflower & broccoli under heavy netting and have sprouts to plant out when I get round to it, the strawberries are beginning to form and I have been picking asparagus, rhubarb and artichoke. I have also been busy drying herbs for Winter use. There are rows of carrot, swede, beetroot, sweet corn and celery doing their best to grow and of course runner beans, which have a wind break around them to try and help them on their way. In the fruit cage there are encouraging signs of flowering on the berries but the frost got the kiwi a few weeks back so I am not expecting anything from that this year. One exciting new project are my citrus trees, lemon and orange, they have survived the Winter all wrapped up in the poly tunnel and the lemon has flowers forming, watch this space, I may grow a lemon for my gin and tonic yet 😃
On the poultry side we have had a new arrival in the form of a gosling, geese sit for thirty days or more to hatch and it was going very well, two geese sat on around twelve eggs between them, near the thirty day mark, one egg hatched and out popped gertie the gosling, 24 hours later her mum got off the rest of her eggs and took her outside. Unfortunately the mothering instincts of the other goose kicked in and she followed them leaving her eggs to go cold 😔 so little gertie now has four Mums and a Dad proudly looking after her on a daily basis. This is the first year for the geese and so hopefully next year they will do a little bit better.
We replaced our whole flock of laying hens with 80 new younger birds, I say replaced but in actual fact the old ladies have been moved to the back to retire, about 30 of them are still laying and the rest are enjoying living off our generosity with no fear of dispatch if they don’t lay, not good business practice but it’s not all about the money. The egg sales have been through the roof, just as well with 80 pullet eggs to shift every day, we have managed to keep turning them over very quickly though, mostly through direct sale on social media, delivery included, it’s worked well.
A thousand and one things must have happened since I last blogged, most of it day to day stuff, some of it all part of the circle of life both animal and vegetable, some of it life altering such as the new decking hubby has built giving us a nice outdoor space to sit and contemplate life (only had to wait five years) and some of it life affirming like the loss of a very dear cousin whose passing has been heart wrenching but also reminds us to enjoy life while we are still here, even the crappy bits.
I have a Robin that has nested in my shed on the shelf, I try not to go in there if I can help it, if I do go in I pretend not to notice, I did look once and she took off at great speed, luckily she came back. I have a quick peek if she is not there and I think there are about four baby Robbins although it’s hard to tell, I really need to tidy up the shed but that too will have to wait until they have flagged. We have Blue Tits in the boxes on the front of the house and a whole range of birds busying themselves around the garden, Great Tits, Bullfinches, Chafinches, Wrens, Blackbirds, Thrush, Long Tailed Tits, Yellowfinch, the list seems to get longer each year or maybe I just have more time to notice when I am sat holding the grandchildren 😃