Fail to plan – plan to fail…

| 26th February 2011

Determined to get ahead

Well, I’m a bit nervous of writing this post as you know what they say about ‘The best plans of men and mice’ but maybe putting it in writing will help keep us on track!

Last year, we got quite behind with our planting schedule because of the time we put into finishing the kitchen garden. Whilst we were pleased with the results, it took a month longer than anticipated, then coupled with a very hot & dry early summer several of our crops didn’t make it as planned. So we are trying to keep on track this year. The Nemaslugs have been ordered, this will keep the slugs and snails in check and we’ve been building tunnel frames that can be used for either fleece, polythene or netting. Here you can see James protecting the Purple Sprouting Broccoli with netting. It survived the winter under fleece just fine, but now both slugs in the soil and pigeons in the garden have been trying to claim their share.

We are currently up to date with our planting schedule this year, but unfortunately, the chillies haven’t germinated (probably out of date seeds) but no worries as a quick browse through the varieties available at and we were able to order good value, quality seeds that arrived the next day! This leaves us plenty of time for those spicy little things to catch up…. do check out their huge range here, we chose chillies, peppers and a selection of organic seeds to try.

See this year’s schedule here Planting Plan ’11

Apples and Pears

The apple trees have been pruned to keep the shape open and stop the branches getting too long and leggy. Macy gave them another winter wash this week and we’ve ordered a new tree, Humbug Pear (right) from the lovely people at Pomona Fruits.

This very unusual green, yellow and pink striped pear is known in its native country (the  Ukraine) as the ‘Easter Pear’ as it is traditionally stored through winter and paraded as a table decoration before eating at Easter time to celebrate the onset of spring. We think it looks beautiful and hope it will be happy here at Hen Corner.

Harvest Fare Trade

Well we’ve named the day! Saturday 1st October is the date that we are working towards. We are talking to bakers, knitters, allotmenteers, bee keepers, chicken keepers and many others who are keen to join us for the big trade-off. Hopefully it will be a great opportunity for those involved to bring a contribution and swap it for someone elses. We’re hoping it’ll be more River Cottage style than Noel Edmonds (for those who remember the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop!)… but should be fun. We are expecting fresh produce, eggs, honey, homemade bakes and preserves and some fantastic handmade crafts. It’ll be like a farmers market that won’t cost a penny!

The rules are simple:

Make it, Bake it, Sew it, Grow it and strictly no cash.

More info to follow, but if you are interested in joining in, please leave a comment or email us at

Other updates from this week:

  • We’ve prepared the cold frame for this season
  • Three new chickens arrived safely, we’ll introduce them properly soon
  • We’re harvesting leeks and carrots for Sunday’s roast

Jobs for next week:

  • Continue to pot on the seedlings ready for the cold frame
  • Start planting legumes in the raised beds under polytunnels
  • Sow brassicas in the propagator.
  • Keep an eye on the new girls as the pecking order is implemented

Have a great week yourself now….

Corners aren’t just for squares!

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