Monday, 21 December 2009

Tractor tales


well it finally arrived, a 1971 david brown selectamatic 880. Or just "the Tractor". My christmas present for the next 3 years!

Its a lot bigger than the kubota i'm used to, no power steering etc but we will get used to each other i'm sure...

happy christmas everyone..

Thursday, 5 November 2009

end of the season

Well it's my longest time without making a post since i started this blog, so much has been happening, including a bout of i guess swine flu? The last box has gone out and we are getting ready for winter, i'm working on a design for a stove in the tunnels to keep everything warm, cornish bananas maybe...

Friday, 14 August 2009

We have Bees again!

Yes finally thanks to a generous german man we have bees in our bonnet once again. It's been a long 8 months without their presence in the garden. I'm gradually transferring them to a "peoples" hive which seems a more humane and natural hive as opposed to the langstroths and nationals they are usually crammed into.
Soon as winter comes i should have some more time to write about natural beekeeping but for now have a look at BioBees courtesy of the Barefoot Beekeeper!

As i'm sure everyone knows bees aren't doing too well and whereas everything from gm crops to mobile phones have been blamed i think it's a combination of factors but probably pesticides and mainly the use of modern bee hives and practices which are closer to factory farming than most keepers will admit...

With Rose selling lots of salves at the market it's also good to begin to be self sufficient-ish in beeswax.

Hooray hooray!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Great Grapes

well our 3 year old vine in the tunnel is now producing some nice grapes, i've carefully watched over it, misted, fertilised and pollinated with a bit of rabbit fur..
they've gone from this:


To this:

and yes they do taste amazing!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

What the heck is that?!!




Was looking for strawberries for a box the other day and came across this - Any ideas? It's the only strawberry that's done this, some kind of incomplete pollination maybe? or just a weird plant..I quite like the colours anyhow

Monday, 29 June 2009

June Box

Still managing to scrape in by doing one post a month1 Everything is doing amazingly well with this fantastic weather. we just need to keep up with weeds now! Water is another issue but i am working on a bicycle powered pump to get both water and liquid fertiliser like seaweed onto the crops and fruit trees at a decent pressure.
Our June box


Beetroot, lettuce, salad, some strawberries, blackcurrants, spuds, garlic, courgette, cucumber, beans, peas, chard and kale.

Hopefully we will see some tomatoes soon, the peaches and grapes are looking great and our treasured 3 kiwis are growing every day...

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Action day

Last Sunday we had a very very windy action day. A good turnout of people showed up and managed to get some good work done despite the wind!


The now traditional muffins were had in the most sheltered part of the field

Thanks to all who came and dug, mulched, fixed windbreaks and ran around...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Earthway Seeder

I've gotten a new tool in the last month and am hoping it will make things easier on the project. It's called an "Earthway Seeder" and promises to "End caveman planting techniques"
It takes a bit of getting used to and Rose is using it a lot more than me, but hopefully it will make things easier, what i can't figure out is where they got my picture from?

Monday, 6 April 2009

Juggling

Every Spring I say "this is going to be the one" what do I mean by that? well, the Spring where i finally get everything done on time, where i have a foolproof strategy for slugs, where all the seeds are planted etc etc
And of course i said this would be the one and i have a mountain of things to complete!
This year is a year of expansion, another half acre under production, a new polytunnel (the melon house), much larger amounts of things like carrots, onions, spuds, sweetcorn, beans etc more fruit, and some grain.

Well that's the plan anyway, in reality we have a huge crow problem this year.
Anytime we plant something they swoop down in a mob(or murder) and eat the lot:
so far spuds, peas and oats. I really don't know what to do about it.

So i like to compare this kind of growing to juggling, at any one moment you can have 20-30 top priorities, and you have to decide which is the most pressing. Is it the crows? the second polytunnel so you have space for baby plants? the onions to be weeded, what about the rabbits still getting in and eating all the salads? and you'll need a better water supply for summer, nows the time to do it.. and on..and on...

So that's what i'm up to, i can't really post pictures of any of this just yet, but we'll get there, we'll get there.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Update

Well once again i'm posting once a month, things are very busy at the moment so this is just a snapshot of what's been going on.
Spuds are in, crows are eating them, but at least they are in.

Quite misty weather


And 10 different varieties of Tomato should go down well!



more soon i promise..

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Progress

Looking at the date of my last post i can see that i'm only managing a post a month at the moment. hmmm...well lots had been happening. I have still to get around to ordering more of the long lasting camera batteries so have had to make do with old rechargeable ones which last about 2 mins..

so I have been mainly working on fencing in the entire hectare (2 acres) field. It's taken a while and there are still a few holes that the rabbits are finding but we are getting there. Its great to have the whole field to work in, and still a bit strange getting used to it.



Around the same time we have had some sunny weather for a change and managed to get the skin on the small tunnel, or the "melon house" as it's being called! you can just about see it beside the big tunnel..


More posts to follow, including the latest gadget!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Winter

It's been a long, long time since my last post, and i don't even have any pictures to show! As anyone in Europe reading this knows it doesn't seem to have stopped raining since november..
Our camera is out of batteries at the moment but hope to have some pictures up soon, the field is a big river most days, with even the pond being almost full with water.
On the positive side we have had about half an acre ploughed up by a local farmer and are planning to completely enclose the 2 acres in the next month.
I'm investing in some nice bits of equipment and hope to grow the standards like carrots, onions and spuds on a much bigger scale.

Bigger is not always better which is why we will be calling this field our limit for now. if we use all the space that we hope to use this year, it will be an increase of about 2-3 times our current land.

Also planned is a large amount of flax, naked oats (more on those later), more fruit trees of course! And a large herb section+ more bees, and maybe even a toolshed.
now if it would only stay dry for 5 minutes....