Diary

Update w/e 26th July 2009RSS feed

Posted: Monday 27 July, 2009

by Rosemary at 9:14pm in Anything goes 1 comment Add your own

The vegetable garden is really getting going now. We've managed to get a handful of runner beans, with the glut yet to come. The French beans are doing really well - next year, I'll grow these instead of broad beans which neither Dan nor I really like. Peas are regularly contributing to plate and freezer - I wish I'd grown more of them. Beetroot and carrots are available as thinnings and we've had the first of the Minicole cabbage. The new netting has transformed the brassica bed - just hope the sprouts and the sprouting broccoli don't get too high and pull it out.

Harvest

For the first time, I've grown white turnip. It's a variety called "Oasis" and it's just ready now. It's nice raw but we had it lightly steamed yesterday and it was lovely.

We've had some plums this week, from the "Opal" tree. They were quite small but very tasty. The raspberries are now finished, so this week, I've been cutting out the old canes and tying in the new ones. This is one of my favourite jobs - you start off with a mass of foliage and at the end, there are tidy rows of plants. Actually, a lot of the plants have died off, which confirms our decision to replant new raspberries this autumn. We need to identify a site, though, and there's no obvious one. I'm planning to put in three varieties to give a spread of cropping season.

Two of our Ryeland ewes, and their tup lambs, are quite tame and will happily hand feed and have a scratch. Jura, the mother of our only ewe lamb, is not. In the 18 months we've had them, I've never been able to get her to take any food from my hand. Until this week and the peapods! Jura loves peapods (so do the others, of course), and loves them enough to take them from my hand and accept a scratch on the head. Swede tops seem to have the same attraction. Fortunately, we have quite a lot of swede and peas, so we might manage to tame her before the winter!

Sheep eating peas

Half the field is topped - the rest will be done as soon as the contractor can fit us in. I want to leave it four weeks before I put my sheep on it, to reduce the worm burden a bit. It hasn't been heavily grazed this year, but I'd rather give it a short break as a precaution.

I bought twelve new POL (point of lay) pullets on Wednesday -  ten Warrens and two White Leghorns. The Leghorns lay lovely white eggs, and these two are producing two eggs a day at the moment. The Warrens are just coming into lay, so are laying mini eggs. These are the ones we get to eat, since I can't sell them. They're lovely but it's hard to cut thin enough soldiers to get into the yolk.

White Leghorn and Warren hens

The highlight of the week, and I make no apologies for boring you about this over the next few weeks, was the long awaited arrival of our new rodent controllers, Harry and Bertie. They are 13 weeks old and both black. I have checked for white hairs on both and there are none. However, their faces are quite different, Bertie is bigger and bolder and Harry is, well, a black tabby, I think. Bertie is definitely black, but Harry has lighter markings on his coat that look like tabby stripes. It will be interesting to see how they develop.

Kittens: Bertie and Harry

I brought them home on Friday night and I think they have been running on adrenalin since. They killed a cushion this morning, wrestling it off the sofa and chewing its tassels - seems they hunt as a pack, too! However, the adrenalin seemed to run out this afternoon and they are sound asleep on their sheepskin cushion.

I can't tell you how cute they are - we've never had kittens before. Our other cats have been older cats from the rescue centre. The dogs are exhausted too; only Felix seems unaffected. He seemed delighted to have access to kitten food, but he'll return to rugby ball shape if we're not careful, so food dishes have been removed. He's in his favourite spot as I type - playing computer games with Dan!

Comments

claire

Thursday 30 July, 2009 at 9:14am

hope Felix and the kitties get on okay, what do Tess and Meg think of them?

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