Sunday, 22 February 2009

Spring is in the air ...

.... and isn't it lovely to be able to spend a bit of time outdoors again? Today the boys were outside such a lot - playing on bikes (overwintered tyres to be pumped up and saddles to be raised for growing legs!) and bouncing on their fabby freecycle trampoline. So I amused myself by stripping down the mini greenhouse and washing all the pots. Very satisfying - all ready to start planting again!
I've bitten the bullet and ordered myself a greenhouse. My raised beds are lovely, but not very practical when I can't get to them because of all the chicken wire. So two of them will go (the wood and soil will be reused on the allotment) and the greenhouse will go in their place. It is a nice sunny corner of the garden so should be more productive than the mini greenhouse which is on a north facing wall. Not sure what I will put in the remaining bed yet, but it will have to be chicken proof!

So yesterday we cleared the root crop from the largest bed. Here are the last of the carrots and parsnips. Not a very good crop this year.
I dug manure into the bed last winter - and the parsnips rebelled! I did have a fair few usable ones, enough to give me a big bag of frozen parsnip cubes ready to add to stews, but there were also a few of these monstrosities!

I also discovered that carrots aren't keen on a manured bed either. The few we did have were tiny. The first time I grew carrots, I interplanted with marigolds. I didn't bother last year as I wasn't sure if it was really necessary. Hmm. The result - VERY wormy carrots. Grrrrr! Hardly any were usable. These looked the best but after peeling ....

This was all we had left.
Although I am assured that they were very sweet and tasty (the purple ones went down especially well!) Don't let those glum looking faces fool you - they were rather worn out after helping Dad to wash the cars and had come inside soaking wet and freezing cold *tuts*
Half term week is always a good time to get on with some baking. I'm taking a lot of inspiration from Attic24's blog this month, and the baking was another filched idea from Lucy. I measured the ingredients into the bowls and left them too it. Very nice biscuits it produced as well (not that I got any more than a nibble)
And finally I cannot let the girls efforts this month go unrecognised. Egg production is on with a vengeance! Look at all those lovely shades of brown and cream - so gorgeous compared to those insipid supermarket eggs! Most days now we have 8 eggs, and only one hen not yet back in lay after the winter. Little Bella the campine hasn't yet graced us with one of her dainty white eggs, however she did crouch for me today so it won't be long!

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