Welcome to weeks seven and eight (sorry we skipped a week…)
The last couple of weeks have been busy ones, but as we say at Hen Corner we’re:
Believing in community – doing it together…
Loving the country life – in London…
Living life to the full – as promised!
And our reason for not posting last week was because of our involvement in our local May Fayre. Last Saturday was beautiful weather, topping 26c! We had great music, free donkey rides, a magic show, cake stalls, burgers and bar… all in our little corner of West London. Nearly 3,000 people turned out – Community is great!
So Another Bank Holiday – what will the weather be like? Well, as I type the rain is pattering on the conservatory roof, but I keep checking the weather forecast for that all ‘all important Bank Holiday BBQ’! Well you can never say that the British weather is boring….
We were given a fantastic gift recently (an early birthday present) of a Kadai Fire Bowl based on the original design of an Indian cooking pot, it can be used as a BBQ for your meal and then after removing the grills, it’s transformed into a wood burning fire pit that will see you comfortably into the small hours!
A couple of the team here at Hen Corner have been celebrating ‘Big Birthdays’ this year and whilst we have hosted some parties here already… there are big plans ahead – we are definitely marking the occasions in style (if the weather holds out!).
This week we have, at last, sown the cucumbers and squashes. As it’s been so hot, we didn’t bother using the propagator and just used small pots of compost out on the patio, but as it’s got chilly again, I popped the pots into the heated propagator. What a joy to see the climbing vine squash unfurl its first leaves as the seed germinates. This seed was saved from a large squash we grew last year and we thought it would be fun to run a little poll to see ‘How Heavy a Squash?’ So please, take your bets and see if you can predict our harvest of Cucurbita. How heavy will the biggest one be?
This weekend we’ve taken the next step towards Plan Bee. The journey began 18 months ago and we have decided to take things slowly, thinking through the implications of introducing hives to Hen Corner. So far, aside from the books and TV programmes, I’ve been to River Cottage HQ for an ‘Introduction to Beekeeping ‘ course, and we’ve started to link in with the lovely people at the Ealing and District Bee Keeping Association. Today, we took the whole team to the Ealing Apiary to build confidence (for our younger ones) and ask the experts some of our niggling questions (that was us older ones!). It was a successful visit and when asked about it later, our youngest team member said ‘Bees are so cute when they are walking on your veil. The Queen Bee is pretty, long & fat, with a blue spot on her back to help you find her.’ She seemed to have progressed well through her initiation and had already learnt that the blue code indicates that she is this year’s queen and will therefore remind you of her age (the colour code changes each year).
So the next step in Plan Bee is to visit some hives in an urban garden, this should help us realise the implications for having them here at Hen Corner. A couple of us are off the The Big Buzz next month and a ‘Beekeeping Improvers Course’ is in the pipeline…