Wednesday 1 May 2013

Damsons and Container gardening

Hello All !
A LOVELY day today. The sun shone again and I dried three more lines full of washing. The bees were happy and flying and visiting the damsons, sloes and plums. It looks like we will get a good crop this year from the stone fruit.  Last year was dire with only  few pounds of fruit. Damsons, in particular, are very valuable to us. Apart from the jam and wine that I make we sell damsons from the gate, we get regular customers year after year who buy something that is not always available in the shops.. The money from these sales pay for the sugar for our preserving and hay and straw for the animals in winter, so when we have a crop failure we feel it pretty hard.  However, I am always mindful that for us this is unfortunate, but at least it is our way of life and not our total living. For farmers it is catastrophic when a crop fails and the adverse weather over the last few years has hit them hard.
Below is a picture of one of our trees against a lovely blue sky  today. You can't see the bees but they are there!

Good news on the hen front ! Mummy Buff has a couple of chicks under her today and her body language tells me that there may be more to come. In another box 2 hens have been sitting in tandem for the last 3 weeks and today have been proudly sharing 2 chicks ! there are more eggs in the nest but between them they have been kicking these eggs around while fussing over the chicks, so we'll see if anything comes of those eggs ( unlikely I reckon!) Two other hens are due any day now and another four have started sitting this week. If any more go broody I shall have no eggs to eat or sell !
The frugal Graduate (what an admirable young woman) has been discussing container gardening. I thought you might like to see my containers. These are made from the boxes that those blocks that drives are made from ( you know what I mean?!) these are lined with black plastic and filled with sieved compost from our huge heap and mole hills. The old window frames fit rather well on top for a sort of cold frame effect. In the two to the left ( I wish we had creosoted those ) are carrots, the first one sown in rows the second broadcast, to see which works out best. the height of the sides of the container should deter the carrot root fly. The third one is sown with parsnips and I haven't put anything in the fourth yet... to be decided.
Been printing out our Civic Society Newsletter to day which I finally got round to writing!, which goes to 400 households in our area. the biggest fag is the back to back printing of 4 sides and then the stapling and folding, thank goodness for a good friend who came for lunch and helped with this. Tomorrow I shall post about a hundred and other society members will do the rest. Later we're off to ED's for tea.

Sleep well dear frugellers !

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