Life is Sweet

| 4th May 2011

Come and see for yourself…

It was a delight to host another Chicken Keeping Course this week, Lisa (pictured with Sara) and Anne are friends who are thinking about hen keeping and Barry and Susan travelled all the way from Braintree in Essex to find out what it’s like to keep chickens, hopefully it’s been a helpful evening as Barry and Susan have already bought an Eglu and are nearly ready to go!

As usual, we began our time together with a glass of Pimms or Sparkling Elderflower served with egg mayonnaise on home-made open rolls. After meeting the chickens, examining the Eglu and looking at the daily, weekly and seasonal responsibilities of looking after chickens, we ended up with tea and cake for questions in the conservatory. If you would like to join us on our next course, more information can be found here.

Ready to go…

After the initial delights of the ongoing asparagus harvest, we are now enjoying a bumper crop of broad beans. We planted them back in November and this has given them a great head start. Those sturdy plants survived the heavy snow falls of winter and flowered and fruited well before the beginning of the aphid season. I’ve seen a few black fly looking for a meal, but the delicate white flowers have been and gone leaving us with long green fat fingers with tender beans inside, risotto time?

Not far from the legume bed is the soft fruit bed which is bursting with raspberry canes (the gooseberries and blueberries seem quite lost at the base!), we have a separate strawberry bed that is flowering nicely and are hoping for bumper crops all round, so to get us in the mood check out this Summer Pavlova.
Ladybirds – do your duty!

Here are some pictures of leaves from our Victoria Plum tree. It’s quite a young tree and we’ve not had much fruit from it yet…. This year however, whilst full of blossom and now baby fruit, we have discovered a sticky film over the whole tree and millions of green-fly. Last year we bought some ladybird larvae for the peas and beans and fixed a ladybird home to the shed wall (above the cold-frame) and it seems to be working well! Above left you can see a mummy and daddy ladybird doing their thing and above right you can see the little yellow eggs ready to hatch and scoff the nasty green-fly, let’s hope it all goes to plan!
Crafts for Harvest Fare Trade…

Make it, Bake it, Sew it, Grow it – that’s the way we’ll be rolling on Saturday 1st October. We’ll have preserves and eggs, honey and cakes, crafts and teas and all traded cash-free. The latest items confirmed as available are a new range of Hen Corner greeting cards, especially hand-designed by Andy Ward! For more information on the event see here and why not visit, and like, our Facebook Page.

Jobs for next week:

  • Continue to harvest Asparagus, Leeks, Rhubarb & Broad Beans
  • Another dose of Nemaslug
  • Plant the baby plants from the cold frame in the ground, maybe covered in a polytunnel
  • Establish the melons and cucumbers in the soil within the cold frame
  • Earth up the potatoes
  • Tidy the Herb Garden (still haven’t done that!)
  • Check the planting schedule for May

Have a great week yourself now….

Corners aren’t just for squares!

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