Thursday, 29 January 2009

Chicken Transport

Freecycle is wonderful! Following my request for a pet carrier, I was gifted this fabulous one! All I need now is some nice weather and I will be choosing the 3 best behaved chickens for a trip to the allotment :0)

Sunday, 18 January 2009


I have managed some more time at the allotment now that the ground has thawed. I was a bit worried that it would be impossible to do anything though with all the rain, but that was not the case. The allotment field is on a slight slope, with my plot on the slopiest bit in the middle. It must be well drained as the soil was lovely to work and only a bit heavy. Be interesting to see how it fares throughout the year. Plots at the bottom end of the slope were not so fortunate, very boggy and muddy.

So now all my beds are dug and I have moved as much couch grass onto the paths as I can. I will worry about those at a later date if they cause a problem! Dad turned up yesterday with some scaffolding planks and a compost bin for me, so we took them down along with a small storage locker. I'm not sure if that will be allowed on the plot yet, but it's light enough to move if I have to!

Then last night we had the high winds and rain. And I began to think about my locker and compost bin sitting in the middle of a field with no shelter. Ooops! Rushed down this morning to confirm my fears. The locker had blown onto it's side, but the compost bin was in the hedge of a neighbouring field!!! Luckily the lid hadn't gone far. So all has been reassembled and a load of clods of grass put in the bottom of the bin for now. Hopefully last night was the worst of the weather. And luckily I was down there before any of the other plot holders arrived to have a good laugh at my expense!!

Saturday, 10 January 2009


Gosh it's bloomin' cold!! As fast as I defrost the chickens water, it freezes up again! The glugs have been frozen solid - not just on top! This one had just a small ball of water in the centre of the ice.
So we haven't been to the allotment this week - other than to drop off a bucket of compost from one of the bins. Even the compost bin was frozen round the sides!
So here are a couple of pics of new chook, Nutmeg. Nutmeg is an amber star, or a Merrydale Sweetie. She is proving to be very friendly, and loves nothing more than a cuddle. She should be very popular on my Hen Courses! While I was cooking christmas lunch, she jumped up onto the windowsill to see what she was missing, then jumped onto the mini greenhouse! I was a bit worried that she would then head for the shed roof, but she decided that she'd gone far enough and came down again.

But she doesn't always look so pristine and clean. She's rather partial to a good old roll in the dust as well! She has started to lay again and lays a lovely little chesnut egg with white speckles.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Snow day!!

What a lovely day! First snowfall this winter! Doesn't it look pretty?

The boys made the most of it and have been playing outside all day - I think we have left a trail of toys down the road!
The chickens were decidedly unimpressed - when I let them out they just stood in the doorway and muttered. Eventually a couple of the braver souls ventured out - they spent the rest of the day trying to eat it :0)

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Allotment Day 2

Spent another couple of hours at the lottie today with the boys! There were a few more there today so plenty of good company! The boys were more interested in helping out everyone else, rather than me. Think I'll hire them out by the hour.

I managed to get all my beds laid out and dug the long, narrow bed down the right hand side and along the front edge. It's beginning to look like an allotment now! I was worried that the plot would be too small - but now, looking at the beds, I think we will get a fair amount in! OK, so I would like to have space for a proper fruit cage, and maybe some fruit trees, but it will be a good start!

Friday, 2 January 2009

New Year - New Allotment!

First of all - Happy New Year!! Hope you have a good one!

Second - we finally got access to our allotment! Hurray!
We went for a walk to have a look and met up with some of the others holders - we had a group photo taken to mark the occasion (but I forgot my camera so you will just have to imagine that one!)

So today, I loaded up the car and took the boys down for their first dig. Looks like we were the first ones to give it a go - a couple of plots have had string tied around them to mark them out, but no one has started digging yet. This is littlest son digging the first sod!

It's not a very big plot - only 10m x 5m, but the ground is so rough, I think it will be enough for now! (hopefully some of the others may be put off by this and we may get a bigger plot! ;-)
In this picture, middle son is standing at the far end of our plot and I am standing at the nearest edge. You can just about see a couple of pegs in the ground either side of him which mark the sides.

We got some string around ours. I decided to start digging at the far end - I figure if I can clear a strip at the end and get some chicken poo in, then I might at least get some potatoes in this year.

After a couple of hours, I'd managed to clear most of the couch grass into a hummock at one end of the strip and dug chicken poo into an area about 3' x 3'.There was a big pile of wood offcuts for communal use so the boys helped me to use them to mark where we had dug. Phew! I'm shattered - but feel very good. Hopefully I will be able to do more as I get fitter! Think I need a soak in a hot bath tonight. The boys will definitely sleep well - they didn't want to come home!