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| 30th June 2010

Welcome to weeks 11 & 12

I was trying to think of an excuse us not writing for a while and to be completely honest it’s been because of big birthday celebrations…. lots of fun with friends in the garden!

So what’s new?

Well last time we mentioned that we weren’t getting many eggs, what with Ruby so ill and two of the others broody.  Fortunately, I found the solution… get some new chickens… not that the pullets are laying yet, but within 30 mins of bringing them home, poor old Ruby squeezed out an egg (whilst in the pet carrier in the conservatory!). Also with three new girls settling in, Ascot & Butternut have been evicted from the nesting box and are laying again themselves! We’ll introduce the new girls properly soon, when they are not so camera-shy, but thanks to Charlotte’s Chickens we’ve got frittata for tea tonight…

Things are really coming on

We’ve got strawberries and raspberries by the bowlful. Some of the chillies have set (I must sow seeds earlier next year!).

The cold frame has not only been prepared for this year, but I have planted in Aubergines, Chillies, Tomatoes & Cucumbers. Lucky me received some gardening vouchers from my mummy friends at school as a birthday gift. I was thinking of buying some flowers, a new shrub, window boxes or something nice as a reminder – but practical me has purchased a water irrigation system for the cold frame… so the combination on heat, light & water should make for good harvest!

In the beds…

Some seedlings are starting to establish, though not all – I never have managed parsnips properly…

The Sugar Snap peas are cracking on great… as the pods are the same colour as the leaves, it can be easy to miss some  – but they taste great just picked and snacked on raw.

Mmm, the latest infestation, after the last post on Aphids is our new little ‘friends’ the Asparagus Beetle!  Now unless I’m happy to use strong chemicals, the treatment is to pick them off (or the overwinter in the bed and keep coming back). Well there’s been so many, at all stages (egg, larvae, cocoon & beetle) that I couldn’t possible remove each one without cutting off  the fronds… but we’re not supposed to do that…

So a bit of a dilemma? help establish the plant or help get rid of the beetle? How did they find us in the first place???? I think I need to just go and cut it all down…. then probably burn it so that it doesn’t hide in the compost…. and I had such high hopes for the asparagus!

And Finally

We were very pleased to have been included in an article on Urban Farming in the Observer Food Monthly. It was lovely to meet their reporter Carole Cadwalladr and share some of last years cider as we chatted about a menu for a meal made only from food sourced within the M25. You can read the full article here.

So next weeks jobs:

Plant or pot up the remaining seedlings (tomatoes, chillies, leeks, squashes)

Turn this year’s compost into the last year’s bin (now empty)

Make a Comfrey feed for the water-butt

Pick the food that’s ready!

This weather’s been great… get out there and enjoy it!

Corners are not just for squares!

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