Personally, my time starts to transition from spending lots of time in the house cooking and preparing to being outside, preparing and growing. It’s still a reasonably quiet time of year for gardeners (not so much smallholders as chicks and lambs start arriving!). I start to notice that a coat, hat and scarf are too much when working outside, you can feel the sun on your clothes through the glass in the greenhouse, and if you are really lucky, when walking outside feeding the animals.
In March, the temperatures can vary dramatically, so don’t get caught out thinking there won’t be a frost, which we have done before. In fact, only last year were the fruit trees killed off when a very late May frost killed the blossom. I really hope that doesn’t happen this year. With that in mind, I still am still sowing seeds with a view to keeping them protected in various forms until they can move on to their final spot. I’m not just sowing the hardier seeds either, at the end of the day if we lose some, then we will have more to sow. It’s all trial and error every year.
At the moment we have stagger-sown the following since 14th February:
In the veg garden, which is different to the veg plot, we have our polytunnel that’s 4 years old now. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a cheaper one, this is 6x3m. Over the last few weeks it has taken a bashing from the various storms and is starting to need some TLC so we have made some adjustments to it. Where the zip is starting to come apart we have zipped it closed and adjusted the clips to be longer so we don’t have to keep undoing it beyond the zip. As you can tell, that was a Ste idea! Saved us time and money on costly repairs. Bonus.
Sowings over the next week or so will include tomatoes and peppers, more salad and turnips and second sowings of what’s already in. We are getting pigs in 3 months which we also are going to grow as much food for as we can, so marrows, turnips, swede, leafy greens and so on. It’s going to be a very busy growing season, so outside we go!! More pics to follow 🙂
It’s that time of year when we need to be preparing for the coming seasons. That doesn’t just mean for the animals, but for our garden too. We like to eat and work outside as much as possible and this includes having family and friends over for BBQ’s and even the odd day off enjoying a long, lazy summer day, with a glass of something alcoholic and good food to share, usually sat round some sort of outdoor fire.
It’s been sunny this week, but still cold. So now was the perfect time to clean the block pavings which are at the back of our house. They have gone fairly yukky over the winter and came up a treat. It took Ste 3 hours to pressure wash the whole area, but it won’t need doing again until next year, so it’s time well spent.
We started the incubator with 15 duck eggs in a few weeks ago. The ducklings are due tomorrow and we were worried if any would arrive due to the power cut last week. I am pleased to report these little ones were not put off by any power cut and so far we have 7 ducklings all out and looking fine. These will all be table birds unless their weight and sex tells us otherwise. We have a runner duck who produces a lot of eggs and she is crossed with an Aylesbury and Appleyard (they all live together) so I’m not sure what size bird they will make. If they are female and too light, we’ll keep them for eggs only. It will all be part of the experiment. We’re after some heavier female ducks at some point this year.
|On their way to the brooder in the barn. Thse guys are dry and fluffy, so it’s time to go.|
|Soft and cute 😉|
On Friday we’re going to set the incubator away again with goose eggs. They are supposed to be harder to incubate and we’ll only fit a few in. Again, these will be raised for the table.
Once they’re out, I plan on incubating the rare breeds we have if there’s any demand for them…I also like to see them round the place – they won’t be table birds.
We’ve gone from wishing Spring would hurry up, to full steam ahead in a blink of an eye. It’s light enough to do jobs before 6am here now and light until after 6pm. It makes smallholding life so much easier, especially when we work too.
I have the early rhubarb that is ready to be picked which is a very special occasion, I love rhubarb! The asparagus follows that and then broad beans and peas. Hopefully lots of salad items in between too. How lovely.
The piglets are doing fabulously, one is growing slightly quicker than the other so we’re supervising feeds. They’re 5 weeks old today.
|Slightly blurry as they wouldn’t pose for me!|
To those who are on Facebook and commented (in my defense I feel 😉 ) that they will become boisterous quickly….1 week on and they are already charging around bashing in to me at feeding time. LOL. Super adorable still though.
Remember Ryan the goose? Well turns out he should be called Rhianna or whatever the female equivalent of Ryan would be. Our male goose confirmed it yesterday.