peachy keen: adj. excellent; fine, worthy
We’ve had a first and a last here at Hen Corner this week and the great weather is promising productivity in the Kitchen Garden.
Brenzone or Brentford?
OK, so I had to search Google to find an Italian town with a name similar to our own home, but with this glorious weather, there’s no need to look oversees for a Mediterranean climate. The bees are producing loads of lovely honey, we have almonds, grapes and figs on their respective trees and vines and a significant first for us this year was to harvest our first Italian flat peaches! Whilst we had good pollination rates last year, thanks to our little honey bees, we lost all of the fruit to peach leaf curl, a fungal infection that causes the leaves to blister and curl, restricting photosynthesis and causing the fruit to fail. This year, we built a polythene shelter for the tree which kept off the rain (which is responsible for spreading the fungal spores). There was still a bit of ‘curl’ but with our wonderfully warm summer, these beauties reached a good size and ripened well in the sunshine. If we managed this in year two, I can’t wait to see what the next few years hold…
Our lovely guests on today’s bee keeping course… A fab group for the last course of the year 🙂 pic.twitter.com/KRwHO5a2dm
— Sara Ward (@HenCorner) July 16, 2014
Busy Bee Keepers…
We’ve had some fantastic Bee Keeping courses this year, several of them over subscribed! But as the season of weekly inspections comes to an end, so do our courses until next May. We’ve past the longest day of the year and the queen bees are slowing down in the egg laying department, the workers are busy making and storing as much honey as possible for winter and, when we’ve harvested some for us, we will treat the bees for the varroa mite. We use a natural thymol treatment which doesn’t harm the bees and helps remove most of the nasty bugs as they prepare for winter.
This year we have planned courses right throughout 2014 giving everyone the opportunity for ‘A little bit of country life in London’. Throughout the next couple of months we will have three types of courses available: Urban Hens, keeping chickens in London, Family Feathers and Fun! and Pick and Pickle, an introduction to preserving.
Why not come and join us?
Book of the Blog Post:
Beautiful Chickens: Portraits of Champion Breeds
By Christie Aschwanden
This book fulfills the promise of the title, truly beautiful portraits of champion chickens… I was given the postcard version of this book a few years ago, then another friend gave me the full size book just last week. We love to flick through to see which breeds we have already had here at Hen Corner and then choose new breeds that we’d love to own one day!
This book is available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!
- We’ve eaten the last of our asparagus for the year, we now let it fern to replenish the crowns for next year.
- All sixteen chickens are laying nicely, loads of eggs, cakes and meringues
- Our apple trees are bending under the weight of a massive crop, can’t wait until Cider Sunday!
Jobs for next week:
- I need to take Sapphire, our 18 year old cat, to the vet. Sadly, I think it’s time for her to have a good long sleep.
- I’m determined to master macarons, so watch this space
- Make up some more super frames & boxes for the Beehaus. They are running out of space to store the honey!
Join us on the Journey!