The long dark nights of winter are the perfect opportunity to dream about the summer ahead. While there is still loads to do outside I,ve been busy ordering all the seeds and supplies needed for 2014. Seed potatoes are ordered and packages from Brown Envelope seeds, Fruithill Farm, The Organic Centre, Seedsavers and Seedaholic have arrived in recent days. It’s very important to support these businesses to ensure their survival. The inner child could,nt resist spreading them out all over the floor and sorting through all the old packs.
There is so much inspiration and energy to be had from a few books and some seed, all that remains is to make some of it happen ( the fun bit) .This summer I am fortunate enough to have the garden here at the house and also access to larger growing spaces through work in Park House. We are planning on starting a very small Box scheme and linking our communications module with the vegetable module selling locally.
We had a christmas plant sale in Park House which included homegrown vegetables and handmade birdboxes , xmas logs , dibbers and a selection of seasonal flowers.
We took a trip to National Agro and eye opener into the world of chemical based agriculture. We had a very informative talk with an emphasis on the move toward ” Integrated pest managment” and biological control methods.
All is well in the large polytunnel.
Claytonia or winter purslane growing happily flanked by chick weed which we harvest for the chickens. They love chickweed and its really good for them and us.
The garlic is pushing through now ,its Vallelado from Fruithill farm. Hand weeding is essential.
The Landsberger green manure mix is doing well. We have a few test beds inside and out to demo this method of fixing Nitrogen.
Chop suey greens ( Chrysanthemum coronarium) which is very tasty indeed. It’s a bit like rock samphire. Would grow this again! Its had 2 cuts now but I hope to let some go to flower.
The peas reached the top of their supports and I had to stop them before they start falling over and breaking.
The spring cabbage will need thinning soon as they fill out.
We took delivery of ducks and some more chickens today and so recently installed this make shift pond from a plastic water tank. It’s impossible to get a plastic shell sand pit anywhere in January.
A new pecking order is being established and its quite violent.
Inside the fruit cage with the rainwater harvesting tank , chicken coop and soft fruits. I would include the composting within this space if re-designed and get the chickens to help out with the compost breakdown.
In recent weeks we have been moving large volumes of compost from the corner heap around the grounds. Here we have used some to top up the raised beds and cover with Mypex for a few months rest. The onions have had a good hand weeding also. The paths need mulching soon.
We have collected samples from 2 locations around the site to do a soil ” shake test” were we will find out more about the soil type.
On the to do list is this years rotation plans for the home garden . Tomorrow I,m expecting a delivery of envirogrind which will be used in the next few weeks to top up the beds here.