Archive for July, 2010

Rain rain, come again

So it looks like my rain dance has worked and today the heavens have opened. Normally I would be complaining that it is July and English summer is rubbish but these days I just appreciate it as the plants are desperate and it is going to help fill up the pond that we finally got round to lining. Just as long as the sun gets his hat on in time for the Pizza Party on Sunday 18th. Come along anytime from midday, bring your toppings and some drinks. Chris and Edd have been toiling away at the pizza oven and it is quite an impressive structure. Its worth a visit even if you don’t want to eat any pizza.

The geese have settled in nicely and are doing lots of weeding and are so far very cute and friendly. This weekend I am going to take the ducks (who are getting quite big now and have been named Hadron and Quark by Chris!) and introduce them, I hope they settle in so well.

Sunday was a sad day for my colleague Vicky, she had 3 chickens in her garden but her neighbours didn’t like the noise they made so she had to find them a new home we were very happy to have them and don’t mind if they cluck as loud as they can but I know Vicky found it hard to say goodbye. She can come visit as much as she likes though!

We are starting to harvest lots of things now and it is so nice to see people getting really excited about eating the stuff they have grown. Bev had bacon and beans that she had grown with her own fair hand this week and her face was a picture. This is what it is all about! You don’t get that level of satifaction from Sainsburys do ya!

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Guard Geese and scaredy chicks

I’m not sure that I should have been allowed to the small holders  fayre on my own. It was a lovely day and there were lots of interesting people doing interesting things. It wasn’t too crowded and everyone seemed happy to chat. Without Chris (he was away at a stag do) to tell me I wasn’t allowed I seem to have returned home with 2 lovely goslings, 2 chickens and 5 more turkeys. I’m really excited about the geese as we had some when we lived in France and they were really good fun, kind and gentle with people they liked (or who gave them snacks) and excellent guards or just really noisey when people who threatened to cook them turned up. I think they will be  a fun addition to the allotmore family. Their pond and house will be outside of the veggie patch area so they shouldn’t be a bother (possibly famous last words).

The number of people wanting eggs from us is going up and as I wrote last time the number of chickens is going down. Hence I had to get 2 more girls to get the production back up to standard.  We are still waiting for another battery hen rescue but in the mean time Shadow and Sonic (thanks Kirk!) have joined the team.

The turkeys proved to be a bit of a disaster. I already have 10 but lots of people want to take part in the grow your own christmas dinner project so we needed a few more.  I had spoken to Roland at Over the Stile before and luckily he was going to be at the fayre so we arranged a Turkey pick up. That all went well. I was amazed at the difference in size between the Bronzes I have and the Norfolks I was picking up and they seemed very sweet. I got them home and all seemed well but they seemed drowsy. I thought I would leave them be to get over the journey but sadly when I checked back on them 2 of them didn’t seem to be able to get up and were gasping for air. I seperated them from the others but within the hour they died. Not very nice but I had been warned that Turkeys are always looking for an excuse to die so I was a little bit prepared.  I called Roland and let him know what had happened – I was worried if they had an illness his whole flock could be at risk. He thinks the whole experience was just too much for them  – too cold, too hot, too long in the car and he has kindly offered to replace them which is great. By the morning a 3rd one had popped off as well but the remaing two seem to be perking up each day so fingers crossed for them. Its all a bit nerve wracking this turkey stuff.

We are really starting to get some crops ready now, this week we have had courgettes, strawberries, beetroots, broad beans, green beans, cucumbers and potatoes. It is so nice to see how pleased everyone looks when they harvest their crop. Its what it’s all about really and your own strawberries do taste way nicer than the shop ones 🙂

It would be nice to have a little bit of rain now I think, we’ve discussed it at allotmore and we think that we are quite enjoying the sunshine but if it could rain during the night, say between midnight and 4 am that would be lovely!

We have lots of lovely bacon for sale  now too so if you fancy a packet let me know or pop by the club house for a sarnie!

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The circle of life

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster of birth and death. On friday two of my duck eggs hatched. I had to go away for work which means that Chris had to supervise the hatching and is now the duckmummy. They are supposed to get attached to the first person they see but so far they seem a bit frightened of all the people so I am hoping they’ll get to like me best. They are really tiny and sweet and I’m looking forward to seeing if they are girls or boys. They are Khaki Campbell ducklings and are both brown with huge darker brown feet so if anyone knows how to tell I’d love to know!

One of the chickens died on Monday. She hadn’t appeared to be ill and so I’m not sure if it was the heat or just her time. The ex bats are coming up for 3 years which I think is close to the life span of a battery hen. I just hope she enjoyed the freedom she had, the poor old thing. Big thank you to Ginette and Lauren as well who found her struggling and called Chris and I.

The allotments seem to be doing well in the sunshine. We got to eat our first mange tout this week which was delicious 🙂 We are going to have lots of courgettes soon as well. Its all getting quite exciting.

Things are getting underway for our Big Lunch on 18th July – if anyone fancies popping along for a pizza and a look around then please do.

I’m off to the small holders show at Ardingly this weekend so I am hoping to learn lots of things and just maybe find some goslings… Martin and Suzanne are back from their travels now so we can start work on the pond!

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