Sunday, 24 August 2014

A little bit country

There are many indicators that a human has finally matured and become a grown up. Could be leaving home, getting your first paycheque, getting married, becoming a parent, finding that first grey hair or fine line of a wrinkle in the corner of your eyes. Is it when you start making an 'ahh' sound as you sink down into a chair, or bemoaning the lack of lyrics in the pop music of today?

I think for me the mark of maturity was deciding that there was a lot of wisdom in the lyrics of country music.

My current favourite is Silver Lining by Kacey Musgraves - have a listen, it's lovely.

"If you're ever gonna find a silver lining, it's gotta be a cloudy day"

"If you're ever gonna find a four leaf clover, you gotta get a little dirt on your hands"

Here is what I have been getting my hands dirty for this year so far - reckon I found the odd four leaf clover here and there.

chillies and peppers



harvested onions drying off


five chicks hatched in the old repurposed washing machine now being used as a nesting box. All doing well do far.

many jars of jam ready for selling (and keeping us in jam!) - already sold the first few jars from the croft gate

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wee turkeys, now out free-ranging on the croft and doing well

seed harvesting

The raised beds in the walled garden have yielded well for their first year - onions harvested and drying out in the polytunnel so the skins go nice and hard, first and second crops of potatoes already eaten! Rhubarb, asparagus, cauliflower and cabbage all planted out and doing well. First lot of beds dug over after harvesting crops and chickens are now scratching over to prepare the soil for the next lot of sowing. Next job is to fill all the beds, do some weeding, do some fence mending and put any autumn crops in ready to over winter.

The fruit cage is doing well, I think all of the fruit bushes survived their rough treatment of three moves in their first year - nothing in the way of fruit this year but all seem to be growing well and coping with the soil here. We have staked the fruit trees - pear, plum and cherry as they had all outgrown their original stakes and are doing well too. I have placed an order for 8 apple trees from a Scottish orchard, grown and suitable for this part of the UK. They will arrive in their dormant time in the winter so in the meantime we need to do some more work on drainage and get the top of the cage netted.

The polytunnel has had a big end of summer tidy up and all the 'spent' soil has been put on the compost heap in the walled garden ready to spread on the raised beds along with some seaweed when we collect some from the beach. Tomatoes are starting to crop, along with cucumbers, chillies and peppers. We have onions drying out in there and various harvested seeds drying out too - I have collected enough peas for next years planting and am drying out about 12 onion flower heads to see if I can collect those seeds for next year too. Next job in there is more sowing for winter greens and starting off some crops for animal forage next year to try and reduce our animal feed bills a little.

This year we have invested time in moving our growing slowly along, creating the walled garden, extending the fruit cage, putting water to the polytunnel. We have spent money on seeds and trees and bushes but will hopefully save money next year by harvesting some of the seeds from this years crop.

Our herb and edible flower area up next to the static has grown from one herb spiral to a collection including a flower circle and the mint circle (which we like to call 'the polo'.) - we have plans to increase this next year and grow more but also some cunning plans for some produce ideas to make money from these areas too.

Definitely worth the little dirt on our hands.

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