Wednesday, 19 January 2011

By George, She’s Done It!!!!

Congratulations to Chestnut, she layed her very first egg today; and what a lovely colour it was, pastel blue. My worries are over; she is definitely a hen and is not destined for the boiling pot. Distinguishing who has laid is going to be very easy as they all lay different coloured eggs. Chestnut has blue eggs, Daisy has cream, Hazel’s are a light brown colour and Miss Pepperpot had dark brown egg with freckles on. Simple!

I had taken a day leave on Friday gone, it was a nice day, a bit on the chilly side but at least it was dry so I went to the plot to finish the job (moving bricks and pallets) I had started last weekend. I must say, now that it is all clear it makes that little area of the plot a lot bigger and a lot tidier. I have marked out two planting holes; this is where I will plant my apple trees. The soil is lovely there; it’ll need digging over a little but it is virtually free from weeds. I’d had a couple of small bags of manure stored there for over a year, these had split, resulting in the muck being spread about a bit and also there had been quite a few leaves which had fallen over winter in that spot so I think the ground is going to be quite nutritious for the young trees. I am hoping to get the apples in this weekend, ground and weather permitting.

On Saturday Pete, another plot holder in the community area and I, spent the morning deciding where we would be planting the orchard trees. One of the holes that Pete had dug was still full to the top with water, whilst most of the others had drained away, so we have decided not to plant a tree here, we are thinking of making the hole bigger and creating a pond, if the ground doesn’t drain very well, we may as well utilise it and make the pond and plant up some boggy loving plants.

Sunday the weather turned out to be awful, it had been forecast to be nice, so I only spent a couple of hours at the allotment. I tidied up some of the community area, getting rid of big stones, half bricks, debris and other bits of rubbish that tends to mount up. I also started to clear some of my raised beds which still had summer cabbages in which are not hardy enough to last through the winter and a few other crops that also should have been cleared before the winter set in.

Weather permitting, this weekend we are planting trees!!!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Let the New Year Begin!

Happy New Year and all that jazz to you all. Welcome to Mal and Is the Wiz. Congratulations to Hazel, she started laying her eggs just before Christmas. You can see from the egg count on the right that we now have three hens laying and they are being very productive for me, I’m getting 2-3 eggs a day at the moment. I’m a little worried about Chestnut though as she doesn’t seem to have started to lay yet, I’ve had them 11 weeks now and they were bought at ‘point of lay’ so I would have thought she’d have had her first egg before now. Knowing my luck, she will turn out to be a he!!! Then we will be in trouble and so will he, it’s the neck chop if she is a he, we’re not allowed cockerels at the allotment and I’m sure my neighbours won’t put up with him singing a dawn chorus.

So work has started in preparation for this New Year. I’ve started to clear the back yard which had 3 raised beds in it (a 4 x 4, 5 x 4 and 3 x 4 ft). This is so I can erect my greenhouse; which is 6ft x 6ft. This is where I will raise my seedlings ready for sending them off to the allotment. I will also be fixing my existing shed (6 x 4ft) as the floor is rotten and the roof leaks and re-locating it elsewhere in the yard, final position yet to be decided. I also aim to build an ‘outhouse’ storage area at the back of my extension. Here I will store some of my harvest, because at the moment, I really don’t have anywhere for winter storage of my crops.

I spent a couple of hours at the allotment on Sunday also. It was lovely to get back into it, although I didn’t do any digging (whey too wet and cloggy still), I did start on the area which is where I have been storing my bricks and pallets. This area is were I anticipate putting my two apple trees, so my couple of hours was filled moving some of these pallets and bricks to the hard gravel area which I gained back in May last year.

I’ve placed my potato order• First Earlies: Pentland Javlin (again as they were so good the first and second time) Swift and Arran Pilot• Second Earlies: Kestrel and Lady Christl• Early Maincrop: Maris Piper, Sante and King Edward• Late Maincrop: Druid
Salad: Charlotte

I’ve also sent off for some Rocket and Pink Fir Apple from magazine offers. With all these I think that I should have enough to keep me going.

More work hopefully over the weekend.
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