Better late than never…

I can’t believe we have reached May already – it’s been a busy and topsy turvy year to date. The weather has been horrendous. We started lambing early in February which was quickly followed by hatching chicks and ducklings and piglets being born…something had to be put on hold and this time it was our seed planting. But we’re on the case now!

Rummaging around in the caravan that we use to store the junk (I mean tools and useful pieces of equipment), I at last managed to find what I was looking for…

At five years old it is doing really well to have survived on our crazy smallholding. It’s one of my all time favourite pieces of kit and it cost less than a tenner….can you guess what it is yet??? Ok, the picture above may have given you a clue!! It’s my paper pot maker!!!

I cannot tell you how calming and satisfying I find turning old strips of newspaper in to wonderful usable pots for our seeds and seedling…just wrap, turn and press…wrap, turn and press…

What you’re left with are perfect little pots that are so strong and can be planted straight in to the ground –  although I like to open up the bottom first just to give the roots a fighting chance 🙂

It’s not all about the animals…

With the lovely weather we’ve had recently we’ve been clocking up the hours in the veg plot. Clearing it of the winter kill, weeding, collecting litter and having the mother of all bonfires was some of the first things on our to-do list. David then started to move some of the gorgeous, dark, rich contents of last years compost bin on to the raised beds. He made a beutiful job of raking and levelling out the soil to perfection….only for our naughty hens to fly over and start digging and scratching at it all. A few choice words were used and chickens had their wing feathers clipped to prevent them from flying and retrain them to stay ‘grounded’!

Some of the ‘left overs’ from last year have been salvaged or allowed to regrow – onions, shalottes and garlic as well as a few rogue potatoes – and some salads have been planted under netting. David has also had a go of ‘growing’ mushrooms using rotted pig dung and straw inside large plastic crates from the butcher and stored in a cool and dark unused old horsebox….to be continued 🙂 My main role is picking up what David drops, weeding, chasing chickens, general fetching and remembering ‘what was planted where’ last year to make sure that we rotate the beds….I must also get to grips with the HUGE collection of packets of seeds from previous years – a LOT will no longer be vaible to use.

Progress is being made and if we can keep the chooks away we should get a good range of veggies for the table (surplus will be sold at the farm gate). Long may this weather last 😀

Little animal update. Ewe #13 lambed this morning, although we’re not supersticious, things have gone so well during this lambing period we didn’t want to jinx things by slapping a No 13 on the side of them :-). Only one left to go – Abby our other ‘pet sheep’ who is the size of a bus and showing no sign of being in any hurry to lamb….Come on Abby, get a move on!!!