Author: Joe

Improving the soil with manures

The transformation of waste is perhaps the oldest pre-occupation of man. man being the chosen alloy, he must be reconnected—via shit, at all cost Patti Smith, “25th Floor” from the album “Easter”, 1978 And so it is here on our smallholding. A huge amount of our time seems to be being spent collecting, storing, turning and finally distributing manure and…

Waiting for the big pond to fill up

A very different May/June

After a lovely start to this year, May and June have had awful weather. Mostly dry, but with huge thunderstorms. It’s been so wet that most of our soft fruit crops have been lost to moulds, and those that have survived are pretty tasteless. So this year we have barely any greengages, strawberries, or cherries. On the plus side,mulberries have…

Ducklings – here’s peeping at you!

We got our first ducklings today. Fifteen of them, just ten days old, and very excited about all the new things they’ve encountered today!

We’ve got them living in a large cage until the chickens get used to them, then they will have a cosy house to live in. We also want them to get a bit bigger, so the cat isn’t as tempted to try a tasty duckling snack!

Julie and our helper Michael have been busy digging a pond for them to live in, which we hope to have finished by next week. In the meantime, they are getting to play in water under our supervision. Here’s one getting dried off after his swim!

Drying the ducklings
Drying the ducklings

They are eating and drinking well, getting through 2 1/2 litres or water this afternoon, but I guess they have been pretty stressed.

Gathering bees in May

It has long been an ambition of ours to eventually keep bees, but we hadn’t quite anticipated that it would be this year! We’ve spent winter swotting up on bee keeping with two books we got from a friend; Collins Beekeeper’s Bible and The Complete & Easy Guide to Beekeeping. The Collins one has been great, with loads of information,…