It's a busy time of year....sowing and pricking out seedlings, potting on, and generally moving things around the house and polytunnel. In the last week I've sown lots of summer squash to go outside - Black Beauty, Yellow Bird, Round dk green one, Yellow Straightneck, and Italian stripey one ....I'm a bit obsessed by them. They are so prolific and useful...and best of all so lovely to look at.
Aside from squashes I've sown Kailaan Brocolli, and Brocolli Raab, more Spring Onions, Bordeaux Spinach, Dill, Nigella in modular trays. In the propogator - Cosmos, Didiscus Blue Lace, Dk Blue Larkspur. Pre-soaked Yellow French Bean and Sweetcorn have been sown in a bed in the polytunnel.
I've also been enjoying getting to know the hens and my new routine. I go down to see them first thing in the morning before work. I feed them, check their drinkers are full, clean up any droppings, and then cut some turves from an area I'm trying to clear at the allotments, shaking off a lot of the soil, then putting the chunks into their run. They absolutely love them and dive straight in, tearing at them, and picking out any bugs. Then all I have to do is a quick dig over of the area left behind, clearing any weed roots. I do a little every day and it doesn't seem such a chore when the hens get so much fun from it.... and I will benefit from the extra planting space. This year I hope it will provide space for a cutting (flower) patch, and a patch of multi-coloured Quinoa.
The evening routine is another quick check on the drinkers, throw them a couple of handfuls of corn, collect the eggs (I'm getting four every day) and just enjoy them. Personalities are beginning to emerge. Every morning when I open the big door of the coop to clear out any mess and let fresh air through...one of the Light Sussex hens comes over clucking at me to make sure I'm doing a good job. Can't help being reminded of Margo (of the Good Life) with her cleaner; So she has become Margo....will her sister be Felicity? The lighter of the two Bluebelles is Violet, and the darker one Belle (or The Beauty as in Raffaellla Barker novels). Tonight I've packed up my first half dozen eggs to sell to a colleague....a bit of a landmark.
Update Now that I've spent a bit more time with them, the two Sussex girls seem very chatty and I've renamed them Matty and Jessie after two of the ladies from Cranford (who all love a good natter!)