Monday 25 May 2020

Life still going on

Hello folks.
That posting a couple of times a week didn't last long did it?!
  Busy here gardening mostly, trying to make up for two years of just managing while David was ill and letting stuff go that didn't seem essential at the time. Well it wasn't really as I felt that keeping the food production going as best I could was more important than weeding and pruning and tidying the "ordinary" garden at thr front of the house
  I just about kept the bees going too, managing to get them ready for winter, catching and boxing swarms, taking some honey off etc, but not going through them properly really and forgetting the mouse guards last year and other such sins!
 My kitchen has a tall stack of supers ready to go on the hives this week. The bees have been really busy and we captured a prime warm last week that might need a bit more space. I would love to put the honey signs out but don't really want to encourage strangers to the door, so will wait a little longer before taking the risk.
There is still quite a bit to plant up in the garden. I usually wait until 1st June before putting my frost tender plants out. However the weather forecast looks pretty good for a week or two really, so I am going to take a chance and put them out over the next few days. This will be outdoor tomatoes, sweet corn, beans, courgettes and the like, celery quinoa, sunflowers and dahlias. The frost a  couple of weeks ago blackened our potatoes and took all the leaves and shoots from our three walnuts, vines and sundry other trees. A bit of a disaster. The potatoes will come back but be set back a bit, but the trees stand no chance for this year. On a positive note the hardy veg and those in the greenhouse are coming along well. The only food coming out of the garden at the mo is Spring Cabbage, which is exceptional this year.
 Four weeks ago we took a cade lamb from someone we know, expecting to buy another one or two to keep it company. Hah! I have trawled just about every Facebook page and farming groups I know and have been unable to get one! So little Covid ( I know, I didn't name hime) is all on his own. He is now out in the paddock all day and in the office at night until he can completely fend for himself. Presently he thinks he's a chicken and usually gets along well grazing the paddock with them. They are less than impressed when he has boingy moment.
As David is sheilding he is super careful about not having anyone in the house and neither he nor I have left the holding for 10 weeks now. However, there have been occaisions when folk have had to come here to collect or bring heavy stuff and it has been quite difficult sorting everything from the front gate, which is approx 12 feet from the road. So we now have a system that works pretty well for us, especially as folk are now allowed to go to the park etc. We open the front gate and then further down the drive, the gate to the field and folk drive straight down into the field and park at a distance where we can shout at each other. Considering our field is bigger than the village park and there is only us in it we reckon it is pretty safe. This way I have also been able to see a couple of members of my family for a little while. Fortunately we have an outside loo, which I have had to fettle as it is usually the man's loo and we all know what that means!
 I think some things will be different for us when all this business is over and goodness knows when that will be. The other day we took delivery of animal food, David's medication and a small flagon of local  beer and I think we may carry on with these deliveries. We have always had our milk and newspapers delivered so no change there.
Talkng of deliveries, we have had all sorts of pressies delivered to the gate. Sometimes I know they are going to be there and other times I just come across them. That I can remember so far we have had several bottles of beer (some home made) bottles of wine and vodka, box of veg, loo paper and paracetemol, box of purple sprouting brocolli, veg plants and a bag of pork fat and chops!
 It is now time for babies' bottle he is now on 3 feeds a day and extremely unhappy about it. We have just seen a swarm come out of hive number 4 and it has settled high up in a large damson tree. There is absolutely no way we can capture it, so we have just set up a bait hive on an accessable roof nearby. Sometime that works, but usually not, but has to be worth a punt.
 Back soon