A Time for Preparation

| 1st December 2012

Welcome back to Hen Corner!

November has ended and Advent brings a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of Christmas. We’ve designed this year’s Christmas card and have 20 to give away to the next new blog subscribers to welcome those who join us on the journey!

As temperatures drop excitement rises as does the number of chickens we have here at Hen Corner, but first let me introduce you to one of my favourite charities…

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Shane with the tunnels & towers

Shane with the tunnels & towers

Believing in community – doing it together…

I just love Cultivate London, they draw together three main objectives:

  1. To generate training opportunities and jobs for unemployed young people aged 16-25 in practical horticulture
  2. To convert derelict and vacant land across London into productive food growing space
  3. To increase the amount of local and organically grown produce consumed by Londoners

A few weeks ago, I joined the team for the day to help them move site. The derelict land that had been their urban farm for the last year or so was now needed to build another 900 flats, however, they had been given a new site just 500 mtrs away. Ben, head grower & move manager decided that it would be easier to carry the poly-tunnels to the new site rather than dismantle and reassemble them, so it was all hands on deck. It was a privileged to work alongside volunteers, team members and trainees such as Shane (pictured above) who has been with the project since February and has just secured his first job in his new gardening business.

Cuddle a chicken

Cuddle a chicken

Last Course of the Year…

We had a lovely time at our last course of the year; Family, Feathers and Fun. Arthur, who had joined us for a course earlier in the year brought his partner and three children to cuddle chickens and chat over cake for the afternoon, we were joined by Photo Journalism student Lucy Piper who was busy taking photos for her exhibition on Urban Farms, she sent us some lovely pictures, such as this one, and we wish her all the best on the rest of her course. Whilst we’ve finished for this year, all of next year’s courses are available here and you can choose from Chickens, Bees, Preserving or Family courses, why don’t you come and join us?

A trio of geese

A trio of geese

A bird in the hand…

November is definitely the month to admire chickens in all their glory. Chicks hatched over the summer are maturing well, older chickens are past their moults and, whilst you might find some muddy feet, the girls really shouldn’t be broody. A couple of weeks ago we joined the throng at the National Poultry Show and not only admired hundreds of chickens, ducks and geese but brought home six little bantams to live in the Eglu Go and hope they will lay us petite eggs come the new season in February. Last week I continued my work with a local primary school and led training sessions with the Chicken Run Volunteers, took a whole school assembly and introduced them to their four new point of lay hens.

Homegrown RevolutionBook of the Blog Post: 

James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution

As I write, this book is not on the bookshelf at Hen Corner, but it is on my wishlist for Christmas. We do love  James and it was he that introduced me to that sweetest of plants, Stevia, which I bought from Cultivate London last year. I love his enthusiasm that encourages each of us to have a go and try something new, by the way, my Cape Gooseberries (that he inspired me to try growing) are now fruiting again in their third year!

This book is available with many of our other favourite books from the Hen Corner Shop!

Other News:

  • We had a lovely evening out at the Country Living Christmas Fair
  • Somehow I managed to mend a vintage sewing machine and make 7 lengths of bunting to sell as gifts
  • We had our first proper stall at St Faith’s Fair and had a great time telling people about Hen Corner and sold loads of chutney and honey

Jobs for next week:

Have a good week yourself…

Join us on the Journey!

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