Sunday 25 November 2012

Sad news

Soon after filming our Chickens, Peggy (the darker feathered one) had an off day and didn't come out of the hen house all Friday, when I went to let them out on Saturday morning at daybreak, only Maud came out. So I looked into the hen house and found Peggy stiff & cold, sadly she didn't make it through the night.
We were happy to re-home our Chickens, back in March 2011, as they were ex battery hens and in a poor state, if you remember I posted a photo back in March this year on the one year anniversary, so Peggy had a lovely 20 months with us. 
The Warren breed, which most ex-battery hens come from, are only expected to live about 3 years, so Peggy did well and more than half her life was spent with us.
 R.I.P PEGGY 2009-2012

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Maud & Peggy Chickens at feeding time

I have been meaning to Video our Chickens, Maud & Peggy tucking into their favorite treat, so here it is:

Sunday 18 November 2012

A chilly November afternoon

A lovely day today, even the sun came out, but as its November it was chilly. 
So to keep warm I cleared the Sweetcorn away, we didn't get many Corn Cobs this year, again due to the poor summer weather. So we left the cobs on on the plants for the birds to peck at and they did a good job of it! I then dug over the soil, removing any roots & weeds as I went. 
We also cut back the Raspberry canes, cutting out all the old wood that had fruited this year. Our Chickens, Maud & Peggy had a fine time scratching around pecking up bugs etc.
But the main job was to dig up some Parsnips for tonight's dinner, as we have now had at least 2 frosty mornings, they will taste much sweeter. 

I hoped to video digging theses up, but sadly the battery had run out on my camcorder! I also wanted to video the Chickens for you, but there will be plenty of other chances to do that.
So I have quite a job on my hands over the next few weeks, to clear this area ready for Spud planting in the spring, but will need to incorporate Manure first though. I have made a start though where the Sweetcorn was, upper right of the photo.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Thursday 8 November 2012

Our Chickens in HD

Our remaining 2 Chickens Maud, the pale one and Peggy the darker one with a small comb.

We have had them since March 2011, so now about 3 years old. 

You can see them here enjoying some Corn just before going in for the night.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Last of the Sarpo Mira Spuds dug up & Moles!

Lovely sunny day today, luckily I had planned to dig up the last of the Sarpo Mira Potatoes and that's just what I did.
You will have to excuse the weeds & grass that has sprung up, but I made the mistake of mulching the growing shoots back in the spring with freshly cut grass, this must have contained seeds and they germinated and grass popped up everywhere!

But after and hour or so, it was clear of all weeds, grass and Potatoes, my trusty Potato fork did its job well and not one spud was speared.
The fleece tunnel to the left still has some Carrots growing, so will be keeping them there for a little while yet, well until the ground freezes that is.
So from the 2 rows I dug up, the yield was about 30.5lb so I estimate the total yield to be 45lb as I planted 3 rows, not bad from 30 seed tubers.

I have left them in the Greenhouse to dry out & harden the skins, for a few days only, don't want them to turn green! 

Compared to the Cara I dug up last month, only 40lb from 72 seed tubers. 

But next year I will be trying 2 different Main crop potatoes, see last Blog entry.
My main reason for choosing Sarpo Mira was because of it high resistance to Blight.
Earlier in the week, when I visited my plot I was surprised to see Moles had visited my neatly planted Red Onion patch, a few Onions had been taken from underneath, but most of the damage was from the mole hills.
I managed to flatten the soil and replant most of the dislodged Onions.

Typical the Moles chose the neatest, dug over patch to invade!

So I quickly made a few of these from things in my shed:

A Bamboo cane, split at the top, a CD pushed into the split & tied to the cane, then another disc loosely tied to the string loop made from attaching the fixed disk.

Hopefully in the wind the fixed disk will vibrate the cane and the loose disk will fly about also shaking the cane, Moles don't like vibrations in the soil. So today I took note and no more Mole Hills had appeared, will see long term if they work.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian