Saturday, 21 March 2015

First good weather of the year and we used it to the fullest

It was beautifully sunny here today. We spent all day in the garden finishing digging over the ground for the spuds. There was so much rubble. We really could have filled a small skip and it was such hard going,'s done!!! It's so nice to think that this is going to be the hardest year and next year we won't have to make every bed from scratch. We got four varieties in the ground, a first early, second early, main crop and salad potato. I also planted another 6 strawberry plants as two of three varieties that I bought as barefoot plants haven't shown any signs of growing.

Little man was a star and he helped (loose term) dig and baby girl had a two hour nap this morning and an hours nap this afternoon which really helped us plough on.

This week I've also got quite a few seeds into the propagators and sowed some carrots, parsnips and early peas in the beds. I can't wait to see the first shoots come through.

We've also got our new planning consultant coming round with some plans on Wednesday so I'm really excited to see them.

My two new chickens are really nervous and ventured out of their temporary coop for the first time in a week last night. 

The other girl's were loving the sunshine and there was even a wee bit of sunbathing going on!

I've also taken a few photos of the enclosure we hastily put together to keep Mr Fox from the girls. It's not in it's final position, in fact it's making an ugly spectacle of itself in my front lawn at the moment, but it makes me feel better when I'm not at home to watch the girls.

I've also been trying to get an idea of the hours and days I'll be working upon my return to work at the end of maternity leave :-( so I can book the kids into childcare, I really don't want my time at home to end. Anyway happy thoughts, I still have a few months to go so I hope I'll see some sun before I spend the daylight hours a dark dispensary.


  1. Your place looks great! And it looks like you've been busy, I like your chicken coop and the heras panels. Where I worked back in January had something similar set up ( Those raised beds look great as well, looking forward to seeing what you grow.

  2. Just popped over to see what you are up to, Kev recommended a look at your blog, you are doing very similar to what we are doing, looking forward to seeing how it all developed and compare notes :-)

  3. A big hello from Shropshire - I will enjoy reading your blog. Been there, done that and hoping to do it all again soon !

  4. Hi from West Cork. Look forward to getting your blog post in my email in box. You live in a beautiful place!

  5. Hi from SW France, where for the last seven years we have been struggling with rebuilding a ruin of a house and at the same time getting a smallholding up and running, which required steep learning curves on all fronts. I shall look forward to following your blog, so keep on blogging.........Vx

  6. came here from Kev's blog as he recommended you. we are in the middle of nowhere on a tiny island called cape breton island in canada. we have been here since 2010 trying to fix up a crappy little cottage and this year should be the bumper year for our garden. we have tire gardens for our potatoes and raised beds for everything else. we don't have small children so kudos to you both for doing this with children. but i bet your children will love you for it and that won't be your only reward. i look forward to reading your blog back to the beginning. i really like what you all are trying to do and will check back regularly!

  7. Don't let Kev talk you into killing the fox!

    Hey, Kymber!

    Don't let her fool you, she and J have a really nice place. They have worked hard to fix it up.

  8. Hey all, thanks for the encouragements, I'll have to take a look at all your blogs, sometimes an idea moves at a snails pace and it's great to see someone a bit further along. Not to say I'm not loving the journey, bring on the light nights so we can spend every minute in the garden!

  9. okay - i've finished reading through all of your posts and i am pretty impressed! you guys are doing really well and i applaud you! i look forward to regular updates and if you want to be included on our blogroll just let me know in a comment back here! congrats to all that you are doing!

  10. Kirsty - just got your comment on our blog and NO - I do not live on the internet - i swear! but hubby does some contract IT work from home and when he is working - i blog and then make comments on other's blogs.

    anyway, in regards to making your own broth - you don't need the meat or bones - you can just make veg broth. save all of your peels (from potatoes and carrots and onions and turnips, etc.) and save any veg/fruit that you suspect will go off, add a ton of spices, a ton of garlic cloves, olive oil, apple cider vinegar with the mother in it and then boil the living crap out of it for a few days. you can freeze your broth if you have the room in your freezer but i am not sure about the water boiling method for broth - i think you actually need to can it. i will look it up and get back to you.

  11. Hello Kirsty and James and children, just popped over from Kevs' blog to see your blog.
    I'm so envious of your greenhouse being up and ready! I have a polycarbonate one, still in it's packaging as I need help to get it up and the slabs laid etc. My Nephew might help but, he's so busy with his job, although he's moved back to the area.
    I'm just about to walk into the village to post my swap seeds to Kev, maybe he might share some with you?
    Looking at the photo of your 4 hens, is one of them a Cuckoo Maran? I ask because she looks like one of mine, Specky, who I was told was a Speckled Maran. The other 2 are crested cream leg bars, one of which is totally blind and still 'top hen' still lays delish eggs, often in the most awkward to get to places! She though, was the first to lay in their new coop, they have only been in it for 3 nights and last night was the first night they all slept in it instead of in the run.
    Well, I've rabbited on long enough. Have a great gardening day.

    1. Hey! We were lucky there was a slab down already for the greenhouse so that really saved us some time. I'll ask Kev but I suspect I'd have to pry seeds from his cold dead hands! (kidding). Our chooks are a speckledy, a copper maran (lays a gorgeous dark brown egg), a ranger, and a lilac belle, our new ones are a white sussex and a rhode rock. I have found though that what breed they're called seems to vary massively depending on where you get them.
      We had trouble this year with where they laid, one went broody and they scattered their egg laying everywhere. At the time I had ten chickens laying in the garden and I regularly found dozens of eggs in the hedgerows. Every time I found a clutch they'd move again! I love the idea of a blind hen still being bossy enough to be top hen. Have a great week K