Here Comes the Sun…

| 26th May 2012

Welcome back to Hen Corner!

At last we have some sunshine!  We can’t believe that the weather has turned around so quickly, but we’re not complaining. Our fruit and nuts are coming on nicely, the bees are foraging well and we have a new arrival here at Hen Corner, but first let’s watch the next film in our series ‘Ten Top Tips for Keeping Chicks’:

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Welcome Spandau…

Our last post outlined our hopes for the fertile eggs that we put under our two broodies, Butternut and Ascot, sadly even after losing two eggs in the first few days, only one has hatched. Personally, I’m thrilled that it’s one of the Silver Spangled Appenzellers and I’ve even taken the risk of naming it (though we don’t know the sex of it yet). This chicken shall be known as Spandau as it will grow up to have a New Romantic plumage complete with funky hair do and flamboyant monochrome profile.

Whilst you can see that Spandau is doing well under the experienced wing of Butternut, my daughter and her curious friend, Alex, were determined to see what was inside the three last eggs that hadn’t hatched. You will be glad not to see photographs of one dead embryo, one creamy smelly mush and a normal unfertilized egg. So no new Orpingtons at Hen Corner just yet which is a shame as I quite fancied Jubilee Orps this year. We may try to hatch some more later this year, but I’m not sure how we’ll accommodate them whilst Butternut and Spandau are in the Eglu Go…

What do you think? Should we try again for some Black and Jubilee Orpingtons?

Almonds in Honey…

When we were featured in the Wall Street Journal last summer I made a throw away comment that I’d like to make some almonds in honey here at Hen Corner and with this sunshine, it just might happen! Our almond tree is doing so well this year. After the single but perfectly formed almond harvested last year, I’m really excited to count around eighty nuts that are making really good progress already, as you can see here. I chose to grow almonds as they are the nut that I use the most; they are wonderful ground into gateaux, chopped into cereal and baked into baklava.

Now we the have the sunshine, I’m hoping to put the super frames on the bee hive allowing the bees to store their surplus gathered nectar as honey, ready for us to collect in September.

Have you got any other suggestions for using almonds and honey?

Book of the Blog Post: RHS Allotment Journal: The Expert Guide to a Productive Plot

Back in January I told you about one of my favourite Christmas presents, the RHS Allotment Journal. It’s both a handy guide and notebook in one. It reminds us of key jobs to be done each month and encourages us with tips and recipes. You can use it to plan ahead and record what you did when. I even keep copies of my Planting Plan and Bee Keeping records in the front. I expect I’ll ask Santa for another one for 2013 and learn from this year hoping to improve for next! It’s available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!

Other News:

  • We welcomed another school group as they visited Hen Corner to complement projects on farming and habitats
  • We had a couple of meetings with a magazine and a book author; hopefully more to tell soon…
  • We’ve planted seedlings and sown addition seeds into this year’s brassica bed

Jobs for next week:

  • Keep a close eye on Spandau, though I’m sure Butternut will do a fab job
  • Peg in some strings for the climbing beans to cling to
  • Get ready for Wednesday’s course Urban Hens – Keeping Chickens in London

Have a good week yourself…

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