This week has seen a few firsts for me, the most unusual has been the amount of phone calls that I’ve received asking me if I am selling my chickens!
Of course, I’ve been sending everyone over to our friends at Charlotte’s Chickens, who, like us, run their business from home, but they’ve had a rush on both hens and feed and outlined it in the following text:
We had 100 chickens delivered on Sunday 15th and sold them all in 3 days (usually last 3 weeks). Feed delivery on Wednesday 18th brought 70 bags of feed (25kg) including corn, plus bedding, and that had all gone by Saturday – it usually lasts a week or more. We also had a ‘pellets with vermx’ x 25 bags (25kg) delivery last week and that has all gone and that usually lasts a month – mad world !!!Sarah New, Charlotte’s Chickens
Amongst all the challenges that are going on around us, including all my courses and events being cancelled or postponed, we are keeping positive and are really encouraged by all the care that is being shown within our community, the resourcefulness, resilience and commitment to be cheerful…
– Hen Corner, our Urban Smallholding, celebrates 10 years next month and if there was ever a time to be producing your own food for your family and community, it’s now.
– If there was ever a time to pass on food tips and recipes, it’s now.
I’m reminded of the bible story of Esther (chapter 4 v 14) “And who knows but that you have come to this position for such a time as this?”
So we are trying to step up to support, care for and feed as many people as possible.
To try and maximise the food that we are producing, we’ve already planted out our potatoes & onions…
We’ve been busy sowing over 25 varieties of seeds including, dare I say, watermelons!
Within days they’ve started sprouting, so we need to make space in the shed for the trays of baby food plants.
I was delighted this morning when my neighbour called over the fence asking if I wanted some strawberry plants and a couple of used compost bins for my new allotment. It’s great to be able to share what we have and I’m sure she’ll appreciate my thank you gifts of eggs (which currently appear to be as rare as hen’s teeth – did you see what I did there?), bread, and other goodies that we have to barter with.
Whilst we have no courses running currently and we’ve sadly had to cancel Easter at Hen Corner, our weekly micro bakery is busier than ever.
Initially I thought it was panic buying, then I realised that the supermarkets had run out of bread and now, especially as people are working from home, the opportunity to be ‘allowed’ to walk down the road to collect home baked artisan bread has become a very desirable thing to do!
This week I’ve had to close the order book two days early because, instead of the usual 8-10 orders, we’d had 50!
People have found us through recommendations and online searches and we’ve had 37 new customers in the last week alone.
This week, we’ve started an extra bake day (I usually only bake on Fridays), for a lovely big housing development on the Grand Union Canal here in Brentford. We already have a few customers from there, but were asked if we could deliver during these times to help people stay home.
A quick email around the residents association soon got the orders flooding in, and yesterday, assisted by my teenage daughter, we packaged up their bread and loaded the car. We were welcomed by four volunteers, all appropriately distanced from each other, ready with gloves to distribute the orders to their neighbours.
We are pleased to be continuing this new service ‘for the foreseeable future’…
- We’ve got both frogs and spawn back in the pond again
- I inspected the bees for the first time this year, two out of the three hives are doing well and, hopefully, we’ve been able to help the weaker colony just in time.
- I’ve started running a new Become a Bread Angel (Business Start Up) course offering virtual support whilst we can’t meet in person. If you are assessing your opportunities and you’d like to find out more, please get in touch!
Jobs for the week:
- Dig up the old almond tree stump ready to replace with a healthy new tree
- Sanitise the runs in each of the chicken coops and refresh with new woodchips
- Get all those lovely new strawberry plants safely in the ground
Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives
And get some sunshine!