Country Living Spring Fair
Our chickens have become very used to travelling around London recently and a couple of our girls have even enjoyed the shampoo and blow dry to prepare them for their public appearances!
The first trip out was to Alexandra Palace for the Country Living Spring Fair and, whilst we’ve contributed as speakers at the fair for the last few years, this time the new venue allowed us to bring a selection of hens with us for the four day event and we were delighted to have had a special Hen Corner built for us within the Small Holding Garden designed by Chelsea Gold Winners, Horticolous.
We were privileged that the Evening Standard had written a full page feature on Hen Corner just before the Fair started and guests arrived clutching the newpaper! As well as meeting hundreds of people who came to stroke the hens (who were happy to sit on the fence for half an hour at a time), we were giving a variety of talks from both the Good Life Theatre and the main stage, Country Living Theatre. It was lovely to meet old and new friends, local people who hope to pop down sometime and previous course guests.
West London Tour
As the girls behaved so well at the Palace, we’ve since taken them to the new W5 Food Market in Ealing and back to Syon House (do you spot the Palace/Stately Home theme here?) for another Countryside Learning Estate Day. It was great to work with Gary, Emma, Glynis and the team as we explained the history, role and resources of Syon House over the last 600 years. Our contribution was to explain the role of a Small Holding on a country estate allowing them to be reliant on the food that they produced. We ran ten sessions to a total of 300 children – everyone hugged a hen that day!
- During a recent course, A Day at Hen Corner, we discovered that one of our honey bee colonies were doing so well that they were making plans to create a new colony by sending off half of the workers with the queen in a swarm to look for a new home, fortunately, we spotted this in time and were able to help them out – we now have three colonies of bees!
- After a tip off from a friend, Alison, we went searching for local elder flowers to make some delicious cordial, we made a short film to demonstrate the process, if you spot some locally – do have a go yourself.
- We made a mountain of lovely loaves for Real Bread Week last week and created some wonderful new flavours, Orange & Coriander Rye anyone?
Jobs for the Week:
- We’ll be getting slippery making Simply Sausages again using lovely free range pork from our friends at Hammond’s Butchers & Delicatessen
- Our friend, Thomas from Beekeeping Afloat, is helping us test the bees for Nosema, as one of our colonies is quite small, they may be suffering from this
- Summer is the perfect time to learn about Chickens & Bees and we are now running regular courses whilst the days are long and (hopefully) dry, if you have little ones, do also look out for our Family Sessions during Half Term
If you could create a new flavour of bread, what would it be?
Have a great week,