Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Action day

So our second action day, we had a bit more luck with the weather this time, and got loads of work done. The day started with Rose and taking our first look at the bees. It was quite an experience I can tell ya! We had been to the previous owners house to see and learn from him how to examine the hive, it was nice to see him do it, however when it was just the 2 of us the tension began to mount!
here's a pic of me smoking the hive:

What looks from the outside like just a black box is revealed to be a vibrant city of creatures engaged in facinating, intricate work. Amazing! I could have watched them all day..But we had a jobn to do, so after checking for any disease or swarming we put all the covers on and left them alone for another week. It was such an amazing experience it's hard to write about the action day with as much enthusiasm!
Well what can I say, everywhere I looked something happening. Liz tackled the gateposts, while martin foucused on the tyres, pete took care of mulching the sweetcorn
while Amber and her kids helped fill beds with compost.

Merlin thought he would test how deep the hole was...
Rose was here there everywhere planting and loading compost and I got stuck into making a nice bed for the brocolli!
It felt great to have the site progress so much in a short period of time. Here was a week of me working on my own being done in a few hours. It really brought home to me the power of community, and what's possible with a few people and some good intentions
Thanks guys!

So the countdown is approaching to the first delivery on the 5th of May, i'm hoping there's enough for everyone, and yet in a way i'm not too worried as it is in a way a good lesson to learn about CSA, how the share reflects the garden: that there isn't much about at this time of year and so the boxes reflect this, june onwards will be packed with lots of produce, exceeding what the customer are paying, so i guess it all works out..
I just hope the customers see it that way!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

It's been a while..

Well hello stranger! Yeah it has been a while, lots of things happening all at once..As they do..
Lets see now, well one of the most exciting things has been the arrival of around 60,000 (haven't counted them all yet) BEES. We got them from a local man last Sunday and installed them in what i call the "fox corner" which is where i met a fox the first time i was in this field..
They are, pun intended, "busy as bees" zooming in and out of the hive, working away, making lots of honey. I've yet to look into the hive, and can't wait till i do this sunday!
With my mate steve bringing loads of fresh grass clippings to the site, the heap is now heating up to 50-60 degrees, too hot to put your hand inside!
the coil of pipe is almost full with water, i'll need some kind of crafty home-made valve to get rid of the air inside...

Plants are going in everywhere, early sweetcorn, flowers on the courgettes, herbs, pumpkins, and of course the massive bag of onions is still only about half empty, so much more of that to be planted..
Another action day is happening on the 22nd of April, so will have a longer post after that, thought i'd show you a picture of an interesting plant i 'm growing called a "Pepino", tastes a bit like a melon, so i'm told, ripens around december, so a great alternative to apples from china..


more to come..

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Sweltering

wow it's hot! has been for days now. At first it was lovely, felt like we had fast forwarded to June
without any April showers. But the novelty is wearing off for me anyhow. Each day I wake up to a blue sky and find myself praying for rain. Am I turning into a farmer?
Not quite but I'm beginning to realise just how crucial the right weather at the right time is. Without rain, I have to cart gallons of water down to my plot and quench the thirst of my parched plants and sandy soil.
So i'm praying for rain, and clouds, and grey weather. Everything i've been wishing away. Are humans ever satisfied!?
Anyway, on to the progress, with a delivery of compost from the Green waste company I've managed to almost fill the tunnel with soil. Peas, Broad beans, salads and some corn are in, making a plastic tunnel into a planthouse. It's beautiful.

The compost is a dream, moist, dark and rich. I've sown 2 extra rows of onions, with space for some flax/quinoa in the middle, should look nice in the summer.(or is it already summer?)

The damson tree is in blooom, has a lovely scent, it's also a nice place to view the garden from.


So next steps are to activate the woodchip pile with grass clippings and lots of water, finish the big sweetcorn bed, doors on tunnel, gate for garden, ponds, and did I mention bees?