September Saturdays…

| 3rd October 2012

Welcome back to Hen Corner!

I can’t believe that it’s October already, just even waking up on Monday 1st brought the reminder of the season change as I heard the rain falling on the Velux window above our heads and noticed that our alarm clock went off before the sun was up…

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Seize the day…

Well I’ve heard them say ‘Make Hay while the Sun Shines’ but believe you me, come September it’s preserve or perish for all your hard grown fruit and veg… September truly is the busiest month of the year here at Hen Corner what with harvesting honey, making cider and feeding the bees for winter. Unfortunately, I have to confess that I have been negligent in picking my raspberries… This is partly due to forgetting all about them but also because of the huge overgrown brassicas that I need to climb over to reach them!

Something old something new…

One of our September Saturday’s was spent supporting the annual Ealing Transition Re-Skilling Day. I partnered up with good friend Jono Paynter, who I met earlier this year to encourage people to consider learning the old skills of keeping chickens and pigs. We ran two training sessions and were pleased to have over 25 people come to each, my his piglets have grown!

Harvest Fare…

We’ve had a pretty poor year in the Kitchen Garden; slugs, snails, too wet, too dry and now an army of caterpillars; the offspring of the Cabbage White Butterfly. Fortunately, I’ve got friends who have had more success than I and it’s been a privilege to gather friends together for our annual event Harvest Fare Trade where we each get the opportunity to trade our personal harvest fare. We had home-grown veg, chillies and herbs, hand knits, cakes and bakes, chutneys, jams and homemade bread and cheese. Lovely Pam from Pretty Cheeky Cupcakes brought some cakes for the children to decorate and the team from Charlottes Chickens had their own market stall, complete with raspberries that they had got round to picking!

Last month’s Pick and Pickle course went well. We made Marmalade, Orange & Beetroot Chutney, Piccalilli and Griddled Courgettes with Feta in Olive Oil.

Leave a comment and tell us what your favourite preserve is …

Book of the Blog Post: 

The Preserving Book
By Lynda Brown
This beautiful book is just the thing for planning all your harvest preserves and thinking ahead for home-made Christmas presents. My friend, Sally, gave it to me as a birthday present last year and the combination of Dorling Kindersley for a stunning publication and the Soil Association for organic endorsement makes for a comprehensive manual that will inspire you to try it’s tips, techniques and recipes.

This book is available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!

Other News:

  • We’ve finished our Summer Evening Chicken Courses for this year, it’s getting too dark…
  • The bees have taken 27ltrs of Sugar Syrup last month!
  • Sadly, we’ve just had another fox attack, as I type, first one in over 20 months and he took our Columbine who laid lovely blue eggs

Jobs for next week:

  • Design some labels for the honey jars, ready for the shows
  • Research when we need to do the codling moth spray on the apple trees
  • Start the autumn tidy of the trees and kitchen garden

Have a good week yourself…

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