Finished my 6 days at work now. I actually finished on Wednesday, but was helping out at the Omlet stall at the New Forest Show yesterday. A very long day, but good fun. At the end of the day, I was given the thrilling task of catching the hens from the run and 'popping them into the box'. Erm, yes, easier said than done. Crawling into the run to the sound of Quin from Omlet giggling!
I do have to say, I have never met such Kamikaze chickens before! They were jumping everywhere to escape my clutches, but I caught them in the end. Only 1 6" scratch for efforts.
The holiday was wonderful, we were both desperate to get away. Stress at work has been awful, so escaping to Portugal was great. We did very little, just sat my the pool (in speedos)!! and went out for dinner in the evening. *Those of you that know me will be relieved to hear, that there were very high walls around the villa, so my gut hanging over the speedos, didn't offend the locals*
**Those of you that don't know me - I am fortunate to have the body of a God. I can eat what i like and never gain weight - I am proud of my 6 pack, 30" waist and broad swimmer's build shoulders**
When we got home, we discovered Cornelia was broody. According to my neighbours, she was clamped to the nest the day after we left. She is still broody 18 days on, with no sign of snapping out of it! She is very unimpressed when grabbed and turfed off the nest and will fluff herself up and sit on the ground.
The courgettes are doing well. I have already picked quite a few of these round ones -
I'm picking blueberries every day. The netting and chicken wire I put up earlier in the year has thwarted the blackbirds attempts at fruit poaching, but as a result, the weeds are bad in that bed and the cranberries are suffering. Will weed next week.
My onions were in a bed, not covered by the watering system and have really suffered. It has been the driest summer since 1957 (according to Gardener's World, I am not that old)!! Do you think they have gone to seed slightly??!!
The milder weather has been a hit with fruit trees though! Our pear tree is full of fruit and I might need to support a few branches.
We have thousands of plums on our tree. This is the first year that it has produced any fruit.
I picked about 6 pounds today, which I cooked and will make Plum and Ginger jam tomorrow. Only another 60+ pounds (minimum) to go! I have some rhubarb in the freezer, so will do a few jars of plum and rhubarb too.
I made 3 jars of raspberry jam (Mum, don't tell Dad, a couple of jars are going in his Christmas hamper) and it is delicious. Looking forward to more raspberries later next month, as the raspberry bed is a jungle of canes.
Sorry to mention Christmas, but now is a good time to think about jams, jellies and chutneys for presents. I have been squirreling the odd jar away every now and again.
I didn't manage to pinch out the growing tips of the runner beans, so might need a recipe for bean chutney. They are too tall now, I can't reach.
My best success this year is my sweetcorn plants. After a slow start with mouse protection in the mini greenhouse, it is doing very well. I have rigged up a mini sprinkler today, which should keep it well watered for the next few weeks.
Also planted out more spinach and chard to see the hens through the winter. I think I will redo the veggie beds this year. Double the height and bury the watering pipes will make it more attractive. I might even paint the wood dark green to blend in better. More jobs to add to my list.
Only a couple of months until the Michaelmas Fair (scroll down a bit, I am not doing junior cupcakes, hee hee). They usually expect 6,000 visitors over the weekend, so I need to get a wiggle on with my fabric things.
Need to go to bed now, so speak soon!
C x x