Bank holiday plans.

Our surrounding farms are in full swing.  They have their cattle out in the fields, who were obviously really interested in something, so much so they lined up in a semi-circle for it.
The currant bushes are laden!  I am really excited as I can’t wait to make those delicious cordials again that we made last year.  I’ll be stocking up on them this year though, to preserve rather than use right away.
We’ve been eating asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli a few times a week.  So far we’ve had it whole and in stir fries and it’s delicious.  I’ve got a load of PSB in for 2018 as it’s a lovely crop to have and fills the gap when waiting for the next years crops and finishing the last of the leeks and so on.  It takes almost a full year to harvest, so it’s in a separate bed near the fruit trees.  Time will tell if it’s any good there.

This coming weekend is a bank holiday and we’re spending some of it with friends and the rest of it in the veg plots and paddocks.  The pigs will hopefully be moving to their new accommodation on Sunday.  We’re out Saturday otherwise we’d do it before and if they escape, we need to be on site for it.  We’ll be home Sunday and Monday as normal, so that seems sensible.
In the veg areas I want to get some more plants out but I’m hesitant after this week’s frosts.  I also need to get a lot of things potted on and some more sown to ensure successional sowing.  I’ll give the ones that are out already a feed and some pellets for the slugs (no hedgehogs can get in, it’s rabbit proofed for those who worry).
I’ll be checking on the fruit and nut trees that we have recently planted but I won’t need to water them as we’ve had rain, snow and sleet in parts.  Shot lived but enough to water them.
The main crop potatoes are showing through so I will earth them up and cover them in the ongoing battle with the chickens.
I am also going to try and get something done with the field that I flattened.  I used my fiesta, as in my car.  I asked the farmers, tried to pay people and looked online.  No one could help, so I used my initiative.  I knocked myself sick going backwards and forwards, but the job’s done.  Now I need to get the grass seed sown.  Obviously the ground is flat and hard, so I need to get my thinking cap on.  I have basic tools only!
I’ve been weeding as often as I can, to try and stay on top of it so they don’t take a hold.  The weeds get thrown onto the pile of ‘scrap but useful’ items we keep behind the barn and the chickens see to it.  They love scratching round in them.
A busy weekend planned.  It’s all too much for Rodney and Buster.

Thank you and harvests have started!

Thank you to everyone who commented on Buddy.   I really did take comfort from your words. 
Here’s the puppies happily sharing a bed in front of the Aga which is there new sleeping place.
So far this year, we’ve had 2 pickings of rhubarb.  One lot was froze for the freezer and dehydrated.  Another lot was used to make rhubarb Bellini (cocktail) per The River Cottage Yearbook which is my bible at the moment.
Here you go Cottontail Farm – as requested 🙂

We harvested our first salad leaves.  Ste said it looks a sparse harvest, but salad leaves I shall just take enough for that meal, as they are at their best when just picked.  These are oriental ones and were lovely, as far as salad leaves go!

 We had them with some radish which I seem to have arranged in size order for the photo!

Remember the big green thing in the rhubarb?  Well thanks to Amy and DC who commented and told me it was a rhubarb flower, this mammoth thing has now been removed.  There was also one on another rhubarb too. 

 Guess what?  The PSB is coming through too.  Literally appeared over a couple of days.  This was sown in August 2016 and takes up to a year to mature according to Monty Don but these are a quicker cropping if I recall, so hopefully we’ll be having some soon with a melted blue vinny sauce….yum.

The asparagus is also starting to show so in a few days we will harvest this too!  Things are really starting to take off. 
The elderberry flowers are showing, next month we will be making Jack’s favourite cordial with the flowers.

 I’m also going to make some rhubarb cordial and vodka with my next pickings.  The vodka is the start of the Christmas hampers, which I’ll do more on nearer the time 😉

Rhubarb, peas, kale, spinach, PSB, onions & garlic

I had a little mooch around the veg plot mid week.  Something I haven’t been able to do through November and December as it’s been dark by the time I get home and have rode the horses.  I love that it is lighter for longer, each day we’re getting a minute or two in our favour.  Spring will be here before we know it so let’s not waste a moment.
I covered some rhubarb up with a bin to try and force it through but I only did this mid January.  It’s slowly making it’s way quicker than the other plants of the same variety but the difference is minimal and to be fair, you struggle to see it in the centre of this photo.

However the 2 early varieties that I bought last year are flying up, and they haven’t been covered by anything.  So maybe I cover those two next year instead.
Early variety of rhubarb flying up
Showing both early plants.
I had wanted to move these 2 early varieties as I was planning on using the bed they are in as a full strawberry bed.  Does anyone know if I can still move them, now they are growing?  Do they need to move when dormant?
My Purple Sprouting Broccoli is not doing much.  Looks like slugs have been having a feed on it already.  Presumable with the mild winter they are coming out of dormancy?
Onions and garlic are showing.  There’s red and white onions here.  I have more onion seeds that I didn’t plant left over.  I wonder if I can put them in.  Garlic too actually.  I don’t suppose it’d hurt to find out.
Last night I sowed some peas in drain pipes.  These are twinkle variety, to be sown February onwards.  I am using a method that I saw on notjustgreenfingers blog when she was still posting.  Incidentally, I hope she picks up the posting again soon.  You grow the peas on in the drainpipe and then when they are ready for their final plot, you dig a trench and slide them in with minimal disturbance.  Then I will put bamboo canes along the trench for them to grip and grow up.

I covered half with vermiculite then realised I had no idea how much to use.  So I guessed.  Half is compost so I can see which works best.  They are covered with a fleece in an unheated greenhouse.  I also sowed some peas in modules which are in the house to compare to the unheated greenhouse.
All experimenting giving my results to learn from for next year.
I also sowed some spinach and All Season Kale which are in the house uncovered.  Should I cover them?
It’s Grace’s party weekend, so we will be focusing on making it fun and enjoyable for her.  She will be 10 and Ste and I are acutely aware of how quickly that time has passed, so we intend to make the most of it all. 
Have a lovely weekend, I hope you all get time to stop & smell the roses.