Categories
Crofting

Hatching eggs 

Set 24 hens eggs in the incubator – 12 of our own plus 6 Rhode Island Reds and 6 Light Sussex which we bought off the internet. They should hatch in 21 days.

Eggs ready to go into the incubator
Categories
Crofting

More seeds sown 

Spring seed sowing starting to ramp up. The following seeds sown in modules in the polycrub :

Dwarf sweet pea
Tagetes 
Marigold 
Zinnia 
Cosmos 
Viola
Lobelia
Heliopsis 
Pea – Hurst’s Greenshaft 
Dill
Parsley 
Tomatoes – legend and gardeners delight

Seed trays

The seeds planted earlier are all germinated, although they are still fairly small. The over wintered spinach beet is now ready for picking and eating 

Spinach beet ready for picking
Categories
Crofting

Willows for fuel 

We are reducing the size of our rigs for growing vegetables as they are going to be made into raised beds, so we have a bit of space fenced off from animals with reasonably good soil. In order to utilise this space we decided to plant some willows specifically for harvesting for fuel for the range. Ordered up 3 varieties of willow from south which arrived on Friday and when the weather improved slightly on Sunday we planted them out.  They were just pushed through some weed suppressant fabric, which was pegged to the ground, so that they have a bit of head start on the weeds. If all goes well we should be cutting some willow to burn is a few years time.

As you can see from the picture the ground is very wet at the moment – makes working outside very difficult , if not impossible. Hopefully we’ll have a spell of good weather soon and the ground will dry out.

Categories
Crofting

Blackcurrants and willows

3 years ago we took cuttings of blackcurrants (well prunings really)  and shoved them in the ground. Most of them rooted successfully and having survived pigs and turkeys it is time to move them. We planted some of them outside of the pig area to act as wind break / screening,  along with some willows which had been growing on in the old polytunnel area.

The three largest blackcurrants were planted into the fruit area on a bed that used to house strawberries. They were joined by a gooseberry bush. 

So in a couple of years we should increase our fruit harvest. 

Categories
Crofting

Mirrie Dancers

Mirrie dancers (aka northern lights, aurora borealis) were out in force tonight. Perfect night for it – moonless and virtually cloudless

Mirrie Dancers-2 Mirrie Dancers

Categories
Crofting

More seeds sown 

The beds in the polycrub are starting to get filled. Planted the following rows of seeds today along with a couple of rows of red onion sets:

  • Carrots – Early Nantes
  • Beetroot –  Moneta
  • Spring onion – White Lisbon 
  • Swiss chard – Rainbow 

Also sowed the following seeds in pots for planting out when they have germinated and grown on 

  • Lettuce leaf – gourmet 
  • Celeriac – Prinz
  • Leeks – American Blue Flag 
  • Leeks – Bulgarian Giant 

The white stuff in the picture below is crushed egg shells sprinkled over the seeds to keep the slugs at bay

The radishes have germinated,  so should be eating them in few weeks and the autumn planted shallots are coming on nicely. 

Categories
Crofting

Strawberry bed and rhubarb 

Finished making and planting the new strawberry bed next to the shed. We don’t seem to be able to grow strawberries in the polycrub, they grow well but the fruit tastes a bit mouldy which tends to spoil the enjoyment. So have made a raised bed next to the shed, south West facing and with a bit of shelter from the polycrub and planted the strawberries.  We’ll see how they get on.


Rhubarb is starting to come into leaf – always a sign that spring is on the way – so have given it a bit of a boost by covering the whole area with some compost/manure from the midden. 

Also tidied up in the polycrub, planted some rosemary, manured the fruit trees. 

Categories
Crofting

Another season starts 

Another season gets underway in the polycrub. Not much left from last year, just some rocket, radicchio plus autumn planted shallots, broccoli and spring greens. All looks a bit bare – although all ready for planting a new season of crops!

Have already sown some first early tatties, which should be ready for eating in June.

This weekend we sowed some radish direct into the soil and gourmet lettuce leaf inside which will planted once it has germinated.

With the sunshine this weekend it was nice and warm in the Polycrub – here’s hoping for a good spring and summer!

Categories
Crofting Eating

Carrot pickle

Picked some of our carrots, rather large thinnings really, and have embarked on making some carrot pickle using a recipe from Oded Schwartz.

All ingredients shredded and mixed, now needs to be left overnight to marinate before boiling and putting into jars tomorrow.

Categories
Crofting

So much to do

Things are really revving up down here at the old Creative Croft, no time to sit around – lots to plant out

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Our first little lambs Samson and Delilah having a nap and the goatlings Heidi and Jasmine are a year old and growing.

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Before I begin the watercolour section of the botanical art  course I’m doing I just need to work on flowers of a different kind to make more needles and buttons etc.

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Jasmine is a very curious goat!

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