Monday again 😜 Where does the time go? Still no rain and things are looking a bit desperate, I watered the fruit trees we planted in the front paddock as they are only a couple of years old and look like they are flagging. After doing the feed routine and nothing untoward happened, I went straight into the veg garden to do some cutting back and some hoeing. The garlic has developed rust so I pulled that as it’s nearly time, disappointing small bulbs but still useful, it was mostly due to their location under the nut trees and I am going to remove that bed as everything struggles in there. I burnt the garlic leaves and sterilised the secateurs as rust is a fungus that will spread if not careful. Our lovely chap who brings us useful things in exchange for muck has brought some great stuff for making raised beds and I’m already planning where they will go. I’m thinking that they will go on top of the existing beds, which are far too shallow and it’s a struggle to get stuff growing, rather than making a new area, is it sad that I get excited by receiving stuff to make raised beds lol. Picked some dwarf beans, a couple of courgettes and some artichoke as well as raspberries and a few blueberries. The blueberry bushes have been disastrous this year, they had been fine in previous years but seem to have come loose at the roots, they need coming out and possibly replacing or if I can get them back, replanting in new soil. I caught a magpie stealing my cherries, I don’t think there is much hope of getting a crop, they are morello and much tarter than ordinary ones but the birds don’t seem to care they ransack it anyway. Watered the garden in the evening, I am using pumped rain water from the tanks for one half of the garden I don’t how much is left but hope we get some rainfall soon 😝
John spent a couple of hours digging up yet more docks.
Tuesday: My word it’s very close out there this morning, either that or I am running a temperature! The air is as still as it can be and it feels suffocating, all is well with the animals, I moved Jack onto a bit of long grass to chew it off save me mowing it and I shall spend a couple of hours in the veg garden doing whatever needs doing. If the sun comes out today it’s gonna be hot, good job the tennis is on and I can escape indoors to watch a couple of matches 🎾
I decided to rescue the blueberry bushes which as I have said are in a sorry state, I dug them up, pruned them right back and have plunged them into a water and rooting powder solution. My first port of call was to test the soil, they need a ph of around 4.5/5.5 so out comes the science bit but the soil seems to be acidic enough so the only thing I can think of is wind rock as the roots were very loose. There don’t appear to be any critters that would harm the roots in the trough and the one in a recycling box on its own is doing fine, so I will see if I can nurse them back to health, if not I will have to buy new ones for next year. I have some tiny little lemons on the lemon tree🍋 nothing on the orange tree mind you but I am pleased with what I have as long as they keep growing. I was thinking of moving them but they seem to like it in the greenhouse and they survived the winter in there although last winter was fairly mild in comparison to other winters, two figs are growing nicely on the fig tree and again I would like to move it but don’t want to tempt fate. I have seen some huge fig trees in the area when I was gardening so it is possible to have a good harvest however the conditions need to be right and they quickly die if it’s not. I can’t see anything on the kiwi and I only have 1 or 2 apricots on that tree.
Wednesday: 9.30am and I don’t mind telling you I’m flagging already! It’s hot out there and I have managed to do the feed round, water the poly tunnel, pick some raspberries and a few runner beans, sat and shared my coffee break with a red legged partridge. I planted the pumpkin plants yesterday, to be honest I forgot about them and there were about 10 so put some up for sale and sold them, they were doing ok in the greenhouse just getting a bit leggy!
I think I will be mostly indoors today keeping cool 😎
Spent the evening watering once it had cooled down enough.
Thursday: Got up early, and I mean early, 4.15 lol, I was going to get up and have an early start anyway but not quite that early, however, I woke up, decided to go into the kitchen and see what time it was as there was daylight outside and discovered it was 4.15, so I stayed up, had breakfast, got dressed and went out into the garden. It was delightfully peaceful, I had the farm all to myself, no chickens, no ducks, no dogs and no humans, as I was pottering around I watched a snail make slow but steady progress across the lawn, just the pace that life should be. They say it will be around 30c today so that’s why I went out and got started, John got up, eventually 😜, and did all the feeding and watering so that I could carry on 😘 came indoors around 11 feeling knackered lol and still hoping for some of these thundery showers!
Goodness me what a warm day ☀️ I had a sleep at about 3.30 woke up feeling tired lol shouldn’t have bothered, although I would probably have been grumpy if I didn’t 😝 The air is close and no sign of any breaking so I shall be watering this evening, it takes me a good couple of hours, one hose is on the mains the other pumped from the rain tanks so I can do two lots at once but still it takes forever.
Friday: Warm again but I didn’t get up early today, did the morning rounds then indoors to do paperwork, the end of year paperwork has be up together for both the farm and the bathroom business, so I made a start on that.
The egg sales have been mental today and not only have we sold yesterday’s but all of today’s by 5pm! That means there will be no eggs tomorrow until the afternoon. John is off to pick up some more pullets in the morning, hopefully they will be near to laying if not already. I shall be watering again this evening, the situation is getting rather dire, the chicken paddock is brown and bare, the only reason the veg are ok is constant watering, rain needed pleeaase.
Picked a few courgettes and some raspberries, started off some raspberry vinegar, and a sourdough starter, I’ve been making bread for a while now with conventional ingredients, time to become artisan 😜 I love sourdough and as long as it toasts and make sandwiches John will eat it, so now is as good a time as any to begin.
Saturday: Fabulous day today, we were up early again because John was taking Charlie and Macca to the airport for their holiday, then picking up some more POL hens, I figured I may as well get up at the same time, early morning is the best part of the day in Summer. I did some picking and a bit of watering before doing the feed round, the geese needed water and on connecting the hose I discovered some muppet had shut the gate onto the hose, pinching it and causing the metal grill covering it to pierce a hole straight through it so I had to mend that first. I have collected sage and that is in the dehydrator ready to dry out for Winter use, the other herbs are still in flower so I will leave them for the bees 🐝 then cut them back and harvest the new growth to dry. While I was working I could hear an unfamiliar bird noise, and then a return call, I thought it was buzzards to start with but when I went to look where it was coming from I saw two Kite sat on posts calling to each other. They are huge when they are close up, shame I didn’t have time to get the camera, I did call John down from the paddock so he could see them though.
There are some beautiful flowers in the garden at the moment and I picked a bunch of sunflower, English mace and asparagus fern to adorn the kitchen table, I did think they would make a lovely simple, graceful, bridal bouquet. The cornflowers always make me smile whenever I go past them, I will be collecting the seeds from them when they go over and spreading more smiles around the garden 😄😀 Then the little fairy rose has become a favourite of mine as well this year, I bought them with the intention of putting them in the front boxes but they need a bit of a revamp first so I will just keep potting them on for the time being.
Then a sit down to watch some tennis 🎾
I forgot to mention that I finally got round to sorting out the tools we inherited, there were about ten different sets of screwdrivers and I will never be short of a lump-hammer or nails ever again! I found a few curiosities, well they were to me anyhow, I told John I found a home made mini pick, he looked at it and said ‘that’s a twating hammer’ who knew there was such a thing lol, apparently it’s for glass work. A pair of mole grips was eagerly spotted by himself but I quickly put them away out of his reach, however now he knows they are there I’m not sure how long they will remain in my toolbox 😜
Our man came with some more useful wood tonight and John was still out in the field at 10pm cutting down docks, while I was watering I spotted 👀 a rat 🐀 running along the back of the duck run so I fed him well tonight 😝
Sunday: Today I have had enough!!! And it’s only 10am, firstly, I let the geese out, walk away 100 yards to watch the chickens enjoying sitting in on top of a cabbage I hung out for them, hear a commotion in the goose paddock turn around and the eeffing fox has got my gosling, I chase after it retrieve the gosling but it dies of a puncture wound and shock. Then as it’s already getting hot outside and I am exhausted counting the number of cabbage white butterflies (why are the pain in the arse ones never endangered) I come indoors to tidy up, pick up the raspberry vinegar I have had going for two days and the lid comes off and it’s all over the bloody counter ffs, days like today are deflating and I think, fuck it, I can’t be arsed anymore. There are no eggs for sale as we sold out in 15 minutes flat yesterday, which is good but the customers keep coming and John wants to get more chickens but I don’t as I don’t physically have the time to do anymore especially when it’s hot. Why the hell the fox doesn’t get the rabbit numbers down and do us all a favour is beyond me, the pigeon numbers seem to be going up and they are a pain, knocking over plants everyday that I have out for sale, sitting above the doorway on the telegraph pole and shitting everywhere, the rooks are getting into the houses nicking the feed and eating any eggs they find, rats are back doing the same, the bloody dogs keep digging a hole outside the back door chucking dirt all over, I keep sweeping it up and they do it again, and we neeeeeeeeed some rain, just a little bit will do as the paddocks are nearly dead and the apples are falling off the trees because it’s so dry. I actually cannot find anything positive today ( right at that very minute of writing a bird flew in the window and sat inside on the sill) a reminder to shut up moaning maybe, today is a strange one for sure 😏 I was going to edit the last bit out, but there you have it a warts and all lifestyle 😜 At least the sourdough starter didn’t get vinegar in it!
Five minutes later and a knock at the door, can they have some ice for one of the girls who has had a head butt from the horse and now has a fat lip, I told you, I don’t think it’s me, it’s the day itself and not even high noon!
John is on the home run digging up the docks, last little bit in the last paddock, I don’t know why we have so many this year, probably because we didn’t tackle them last year or the year before lol. Later this evening he is off to help the chap pick up some more wood and crates for the farm later, there are some large frame crates and I mean 6ft tall, I’m thinking they will make good sheds, love getting stuff that can be repurposed or reused.
Picked a whole load of courgettes, no shortage this year, I can see we will have a glut, need to find some good recipes for them.
The rest of the day went without incident I am pleased to say 😀