Winter

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.

Image

Since I had the seeds out I taught lets get the books out too and put some order on things.Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

The garlic is pushing through now ,its Vallelado from Fruithill farm. Hand weeding is essential.

Image

The Landsberger green manure mix is doing well. We have a few test beds inside and out to demo this method of fixing Nitrogen.

Image

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.

Image

The peas reached the top of their supports and I had to stop them before they start falling over and breaking.

Image

The spring cabbage will need thinning soon as they fill out.

Image

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.

Image

A new pecking order is being established and its quite violent.

Image

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.

Image

The as yet incompleted chicken/ duck house. The idea being the ducks nest at ground level below the chickens.Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

Image

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s