We have the first births on the croft this year! The eggs that we put in the incubator three weeks ago have started to hatch, so far we have nine chicks.
Update – we have a total of twelve chicks hatched, ten of our own and two Rhode Island Reds out of six from eBay. None of half dozen Light Sussex eggs, also from eBay, hatched.
Despite the bitterly cold wind outside the polycrub is taking on a predominantly green hue as opposed to brown earth. The seeds have mainly sprouted, tatties are showing through and the rocket is growing faster than we can eat it.
We had the first spring cabbage with our Sunday roast and very nice it was too. Lifted the remainder of the over wintering carrots from the rigs that were worth keeping – they’ve done really well, we’ve been eating them since September.
I’ve been playing around with my mini louet hand combs to see how versatile they are in terms of colour blending. I initially got them to help remove the many neps I seem to get in some of our fleeces, but they are actually invaluable for fine colour blending. Its a real pleasure working with them and I feel inspired to blend many more combinations –
So I start with some fleece I dyed earlier, lashing on the colours in layers and begin blending.
It took about 4 goes of transferring the fibre from comb to comb, then I was left with lovely fluffy pink clouds of soft stuff ready for spinning
This is the leftover ‘waste’ full of neps and other stuff!
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
Posted in Crofting
Spring seed sowing starting to ramp up. The following seeds sown in modules in the polycrub :
Dwarf sweet pea
Pea – Hurst’s Greenshaft
Tomatoes – legend and gardeners delight
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
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.
Posted in Crofting
Tagged rigs, 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.
Mirrie dancers (aka northern lights, aurora borealis) were out in force tonight. Perfect night for it – moonless and virtually cloudless
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.