Friday, 31 July 2015

Ladies on the move

Quite an exciting day in the life of a chicken
Fence taken down, house hitched up, hold onto your tail feathers, we're off to pastures new. 
Or in this case, to rummage around in the old Broad Bean patch,  So much to see and do...
All eggs intact upon arrival.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Over a Kilometre of Maincrop Carrots Wanting Attention...

But help is at hand.....

One of many reasons for starting this Blog was that  sometimes I felt left 'outstanding in my field' . Sharing the workload even virtually seemed like a good idea. Well it seems to have worked on a practical 'right here' level even before I've gone public'with this (some kind of modern day witchcraft?) 
Four willing helpers handweeding the maincrop carrots meant it only took half a day, a large flask of tea and a packet of digestives to accomplish.

 What has also helped massively with direct sown crops is a very handy piece of kit known as a flame weeder. It's a rather exciting looking wheeled trolley with five gas burners, I'll get someone to take a photo next time I'm using it at dusk....Can't wait eh?

The principle (briefly) is cultivate the ground you're going to grow on: leave the soil undisturbed for at least ten days* and let weed seedlings start to germinate: sow your crop direct: wait for what you believe is the crop germination time minus one day (nerve wracking but there are tricks for this): run flaming trolley very slowly (its a bit like horticultural Tai Chi) over the weeds to cook them: then with luck (and judgement) next day or two.... Voila crop comes up into weed free soil.

This you understand is the theory, get the timing wrong and you have some very weedy carrots which take weeks not half a day to sort out. Or you end up burning off all your crop seedlings

This year germination has been very good, we are hoping to break the 1.8kg single root weight....Ooo! Ramping up the suspense!

And of course there's always the enormous potential gallery of comedic rootery to look forward to....

*this is known in Devon and praps further afield as a "Bastard Fallow" Oh I say!

The Cake Fairy Cometh

There are days when you think "Why am l working myself to the point where I'm not able to see straight for tiredness? "

Then, you climb onto the porch, kick off your boots and discover that one of several (!!!) potential donaters of deliciousness has called by to make it all worth it again ..mmmmm.....Thank you, I suspect, to 'Fairy Peaplant'.

And I can work it all off again later.....

p.s. 'Twas lucky 'trailer trash kitty' didn't get her fuzzy paws on it first...she knows a good feed when she smells one...

Monday, 27 July 2015

Timorous wee beasties

Cinnabar moth caterpillars enthusiastically feeding on groundsel plant. If only all the creatures of Hoppins Field were so helpful.

But badger fencing is good and 'hot'. So sweetcorn is swelling unmolested thus far :-D

Had a veg buying visit from Canadian Terri , whose business card has him down as a 'wine consultant' enviable job!

He was reminiscing about the local farmers back home, loading up their trucks with freshly picked cobs and selling them on the roadside.

Terri seems rather keen to be that guy on the stall, so if there is any surplus, he'll be out on the Sidmouth Road, peddling the freshest corn in the Valley. 

And doubtless available for advice on any bottles you might have about your person.....

A productive morning here with the 'Monday Maidens', Weeding, planting, gossiping..... (classified)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The fun continues all through the week

You see? Moth trapping; charcoal burning; pony rides - 
Perhaps all at once if you are skilled, or brave enough.

Heathweek 2015 A damp view from a small (army) tent

A bit on the soggy side, but still the most fun you can experience legally in a remote carpark on Woodbury Common.
A Celebration of the Pebblebed Heaths. its creatures, history and landscape
You really couldn't hope to meet a finer bunch of enthusiastic wildlife loving oddballs...
Also on offer, tea, cake. and lamb burgers. I sold a fair amount of veg - covered my cake costs at least!
One previous very hot and dusty year at this event I couldn't understand why there was such a big demand for cucumbers, aside from their undoubted tastiness.
 It turned out that the organisers had forgotten to provide a tea tent, or indeed any water source at all...ooops! 

So Fresh and Green cucumbers were the only source of moisture for some distance around - thanks guys - great for sales.
Nowadays however it's a very sophisticated happening, with all kinds of refreshments. Plus opportunities to be educated, entertained and inspired on matters of the dry heath....the only thing lacking, perhaps. is a beer tent? 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Go on badgers I dare you.....

here's hoping that this will be enough to keep the "hairy bottomed darlings" off..

Don't mind sharing a bit with the local fauna; but badgers trample everything they can't eat .

Bosch... Do I get a free battery for product placement?  

Easter Island Aubergine against a lowering sky

definitely a day for polytunnel work...

The Heavens have opened

This is the 'rain train' a neat little bit of driven by water power technology, preparing the 'drier than the Serengeti' ground prior to leek planting earlier this week .

No need for it now, the long awaited rains are drumming on the roof of the mobile, as I contemplate donning a waterproof for the first time in weeks.....

The chickens want to be let outside, they will change their tiny little minds when they see this weather!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

"Stone the Crows"

Sometimes it's hard not to feel like doing just that..

After planting out six 'n a half thousand baby leeks, the local corvids find it the height of hilarity to pull them out again - what larks - for them!

It's enough to make one question the sanity of this 'wildlife friendly farming'
 Feels more like 'doing battle with'

All (farm) hands on deck - boys making holes with the hi-tec 'tridents' for the leeklets, Girls behind putting 'em in. But don't worry; we do all swap jobs in the name of equality; and to save our backs.

Sweetcorn in the background only two weeks from being ready..mmmmm

Now to erect the 'anti badger marauding' electric fence, they love a bit of corn on (and off) the cob -
See? Constant Battling

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Cooling cucumber balm for hardworking knees

Versatile 'conjoined vegetable' beauty treatments!

Have to start somewhere


All the Winter leeks planted now, transferred from their nursery seedbed. out to their 'grown up', growing on beds. All hands were on deck; extra help called in; the last 'monster' job of the Summer; done.

Now just got to keep on top of the hoeing... watering...feeding...then harvest...fettle..send them out.
and that's just one crop of many...

Been meaning to start on this for quite a while, but waiting til everything is done would

mean waiting for ever.

 To paraphrase wise and encouraging friend Kate "The only way to start, is to get started"

Now how to get photos from phone to here
Here's a lovely action shot of two chaps with tridents...Looks like they're practising their country dancing....

Whats for dinner?

Who will read this stuff?
  Kind friends hopes.

It's as much, if not more, about the writing, as it is about being read

A bit like 'Big Girls Show and Tell'

Starting with "Classy Trailer Trash Kitty on a Bin"

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The view...

The small farm in question is in Devon UK, growing a wide variety of vegetables for local folk to enjoy. The 'Broad view' is from the top of the hill looking out over the rather gorgeous East Devon AONB.... But could also be taken as being the thoughts and musings of the vegetable grower herself...