Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Half term catch up

Did you see that?
We had sun!
For two Bank Holidays in a row now we have had sun!
And everyone wonders why the Brits do nothing but talk about the weather! That's because it's crazy man!! It is so changeable it gives you whiplash and therefore it needs discussing for future reference in case anyone manages to figure out a pattern to it. There would be a Nobel prize for that one I'm sure!

So after our second bank holiday with sun, today it is raining again. I have to say, I'm relieved, as I thought for a moment that I'd been transplanted somewhere Mediterranean and we'd then have nothing to talk about, weatherwise!

However, this has meant that we've thoroughly enjoyed the bank holiday weekend, visiting friends in their new home, enjoying sitting out on the patio and getting through the endless chores outside, that don't seem so endless when the sun is beating down on your back.

Mr Beehive has finally finished the chicken fort knox.
We now, with approval from the neighbours, have chicken wire up to the gods to prevent those wily Vulpes vulpes from getting in to snack on my chooks.
My poor husband is returning to work today looking as if he's been training as a Samurai!

I have managed to cut the lawns and the orchard - a mammoth task in itself, and feed the cuttings to the chickens (they adore picking through the freshly mown stuff), build another bean support (I must check today that it has witheld the rain last night as I have chosen to do a single style checker board rather than a wigwam or X frame), plant some more beans, harvest our first crop of rhubarb, salvage a pear tree that was in a pot a remnant of our travelling days and re plant it in the garden and mend the cold frame, remodelling it as another raised bed instead and planting kale in it.

I'm desperately hoping that this years harvest will far outweigh the measly offerings we had last year.
Should things go well we should be seeing:

Garlic ready for harvesting in around 3 weeks time
Runner and French beans
Salad leaves
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Strawberries (these are amazingly resilient buggers, but I'm pretty sure the yield will be low)
Black and Redcurrants
Melon (we can but hope!)
Nectarines (well, maybe not this year)
Grapes (mmm?)

Mr Beehive has his autumn already lined up with his wine on the go, his cider in his twinkling sights!
I hope I'll be canning and preserving, so that by the time we get to September/October, what with our piglet from the litter being ready for collection from the butcher and we hope we will be able to get a lamb from our plumber (yup! I know, all the crew from the house renovations revealed the most wonderful sidelines. Our Plumber, Chris, owns a farm with his dad. Lucky I spotted the lamb feed in the skip that day and got chatting and our foreman gave us two chickens that he was looking to rehome!) we'll be set to minimise our visits to the supermarkets.

With the solar panels having had two, yes, that's right folks TWO days of bank holiday sunshine...we could actually be looking at being fairly self sufficient rolling from 2013 into 2014, fingers crossed.

Today, however, normality has been restored. It is raining, I can't take photos for you of the garden or foxknox! The dentist beckons the three mini Beehives along with trumpet and piano practices, an hour of revision for me and then...we may even have to light the woodburner this afternoon.

Normality has resumed, obviously!

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