Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Well Manicured Smallholder

Y'all may have noticed a gap in the reporting on the farm.  The Farm family have been on holiday.  I shall give you a quick update before bed, hopefully I can elaborate on all points separately later!

This was Farm Baby's first trip away.  We had decided that 9 months was a reasonable age to start galavanting around the countryside.  We chose to visit the Lake District for a weeks break.  It rained most mornings but the afternoons were much warmer and more pleasant.  We did the usual holiday doings, relaxing, walking around the holiday centre, which was in the middle of a red squirrel nature reserve.  However, we also did some trips that were very 'us'.  The best of which was to a couple of Car Boot Sales.  We made some good purchases.  I have been trying to perfect that cluttered look that farmhouses have. Somehow farmhouses manage to have rooms full of stuff, stuff on every surface and it just works!  So far all I can manage is looking like I have too much stuff!  It is definitely a learned knack, or perhaps I am trying too hard. LOL.

Anyway, we managed a few good buys but my favourite by far is a beautiful wicker trug.  I have been looking for one for ages.  But modern ones are expensive, not ridiculously I know but trying to live cheaply and efficiently and self sufficiently means that I am always on the look out for the most economical choice.  New wicker trugs are even more expensive, presumably due to the work required.  So when I saw this sitting lonesome on a rug by one of the stalls, that was it.  I was having it!  I also got a quirky copper jelly mould shaped like a hen - for the wall in the kitchen - farmhouse clutter people!!

Regular readers will know that we recently purchased eight Lohmann Brown hens with whom we have been having a laying problem.  While we were away they were being cared for by Farm Dad and then Farm Mum.  As you know their egg production had fallen away to practically zero before we left.  We had started them on a good solid diet and regime and were just crossing our fingers.  As you can see from our 'What's The S-Coop?' module egg production has increased.  The last two days we have been up to four!!  Much better.  I had been expecting 4-5 a day so this is a much more cheerful number!  Big smiles on our return to the farm, a nice welcome home present.

The vegetable patch had tried its best to give us a welcome home that we would enjoy and in some places it did.  The cabbage and brussels are doing well.  Broad Beans and peas are growing like crazy.  Farm Mum is jealous of what look like are going to be HUGE onions and the garlic is stonking along.  There was a couple of raspberries ripe and farm baby enjoyed the first taste of produce from the garden - flappy arms and kicking legs of approval there!

The garden on our return.  Potatoes in the front, onions in one tyre, rocket, celery and beetroot in the other.  Raspberries behind and the bean patch in the top left corner.

Here are the beans.  Of all the Runner Beans planted (approx 40 ish?) only 8 are clinging to life.  All the French Beans died again!  We have heard that our neighbours on the hill have also given up on their Runner Beans as they have succumbed to the same strange fate.  We are blaming the odd weather we have been having.

Onions to make your mum jealous!

Potatoes and cabbages are fighting back on the side of self sufficiency growers everywhere!

I said I was growing celery, and I am!  Here it is!  All the other 19 plants went the way of the Runner Beans but this guy soldiered on.  Spare a thought for his fallen friends!


  1. it's all looking impressive and I am glad your hens have started laying again.

    I love your trug...I have a wooden one which I got at the lincolnshire show last year but i would love another one...maybe I will have to go around the charity shops!!

  2. Love that pic of the duckling! :)

    Glad to hear you had a good holiday too, and if it makes you feel better our runner beans seem to be managing to die quite impressivly too... No idea why...


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