Polytunnel blues

I really have no idea what happens in my polytunnel over the winter! It just gets trashed! It looks awful, old plants and rubbish everywhere and you can hardly see out of the plastic. Every year I weed it, clean it out and wash it. However this year I’m taking more drastic action. The tunnel wasn’t overly productive this year and I have an incredibly bad weed problem that I can’t control. So I’ve decided to dig out all the soil from all the raised beds and start again. Well so far after 3 hours solid digging and at least 15 large wheelbarrows full of earth I’ve done half the tunnel! Yayee! The other half will have to wait a few days until my body has recovered! Tom and Barbara would be proud. ( showing my age here). I pulled the old earth up by my plum  tree and the birds had a great time pecking through. Unfortunately they were camera shy.

My poor body is aching a bit as earlier in the week the moon had said it was a good time to spread compost over the veg beds, so I did some of that as well. Hopefully this self sufficiency life will keep me fit for free!

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Polytunnel blues

I really have no idea what happens in my polytunnel over the winter! It just gets trashed! It looks awful, old plants and rubbish everywhere and you can hardly see out of the plastic. Every year I weed it, clean it out and wash it. However this year I’m taking more drastic action. The tunnel wasn’t overly productive this year and I have an incredibly bad weed problem that I can’t control. So I’ve decided to dig out all the soil from all the raised beds and start again. Well so far after 3 hours solid digging and at least 15 large wheelbarrows full of earth I’ve done half the tunnel! Yayee! The other half will have to wait a few days until my body has recovered! Tom and Barbara would be proud. ( showing my age here). I pulled the old earth up by my plum  tree and the birds had a great time pecking through. Unfortunately they were camera shy.

My poor body is aching a bit as earlier in the week the moon had said it was a good time to spread compost over the veg beds, so I did some of that as well. Hopefully this self sufficiency life will keep me fit for free!

New year New plot

Spent quite a bit of time this weekend sorting out a new/ old plot. About 13/14 years ago we cleared a part of a field to try and grow fruit and vegetables. Not long after I had baby number 5 and life didn’t go according to plan, just for a change! The plot was neglected and became overgrown and quite a lot of rogue trees grew there. 

Now that life has moved on we are trying to reclaim this plot for feeding ourselves. We luckily persuaded a family member with a digger to push over the trees and my husband got busy with a chainsaw.

The large logs we kept for future wood burner, small stuff we campfired. The dog, wearing her new Christmas jumper had a great time sniffing round. My now teenage girl also enjoyed the fresh air and kept busy making fruit tea with the singing kettle on the gas ring and preparing vegan chocolate campfire bananas! Which we put on YouTube! Still loads of work to do, but at least we made a start and had family time as well.

Moon washing 

The moon calendar suggested that today was a good day to work in the greenhouse, so I did! I cleared out a lot of bits and bobs that had taken over from making wreaths in early December. As it was so sunny I also threw a soapy cloth about the windows. Much prefer greenhouse window washing than the house, but it is a bit lower to the ground. I quite enjoyed it but the dog soon got bored!

I planted a pot of garlic in the greenhouse in the autumn ( not moon guided) and it seems to be looking quite happy, hope it appreciates the view now you can see through the glass!

I’m Tune with the Moon 

So after a strange year in 2017, where I did manage to grow quite a bit, but didn’t manage to document it! I’m trying again. This year I’m going to try and plant in tune with the moon. I did try this method years ago and I do believe it works, I just found it too constricting with the time I had. In theory now I have more time. ( ha ).

  1. So far this year I haven’t really been in the garden as I’ve had to reclaim my house after Christmas! However I did attend a local foraging walk a few days ago. Didn’t actually forage anything to eat, but I did bring back some mistletoe. We have unsuccessfully tried to grow this here a few times, but if at first…….and all that. So at the weekend we went up our field and tried to graft it to a couple of wild crab apple trees we have. The moon wasn’t quite right but my husband was available and I don’t like heights! So we squashed some berries in little flaps we cut and then put some first aid tape round some , now we wait. Although we can’t eat mistletoe it might be a handy swap crop.

RUNNING AND RECYCLING

Well it’s been an odd few weeks here in the mountains. I really don’t understand what happens to the time, it shoots by so quickly! I seriously need 48 hours in a day to get everything done! Sadly the garden has taken a slight back seat to running, as I desperately tried to get in as much training as I could for a half marathon. This all sounds so athletic I know, but although I do cover some miles, a runner I am not! I plod along like an absolute snail, my children can actually walk faster than my running pace, I also must confess to a little bit of walking during my runs, especially up my many many hills! If any Peppa pig fans are out there, I live in almost the same location, on a massive hill. You are either going straight down, or puffing straight up!Anyway, I’ve been out in all weathers, getting the miles in and then collapsing with no energy or time left to garden. The race day was lovely and sunny and I completed the 13 miles ( was it only 13 it felt a lot more!) with my friend Sally in just under 3 hours AND we didn’t come last! Which felt great as the last race we did, a 10k in the snow we were last and everyone else had gone home to get warm. Ours was the only car left in the car park, but we didn’t care as we had got a P.B!!!  Anyway enough of that, on with the garden. There has been a few developments, not just that a few things are growing, especially the weeds and I’ve managed to kill off some lovely tomato plants?!? I had an unexpected surprise when one of my daughters came home from uni for a weekend visit. Not wanting to miss out on such a great opportunity I wasted no time in sweet talking her to help with a particularly challenging job in the garden. A couple of years ago I was given some very large wooden crates that someone had had roof tiles delivered in. I thought and still do that they would be great to grow squash in. I sited them in the garden and had a go, but with little success. It was obviously the wrong spot, weeds took over, ivy clung to them and they were a sorry mess. As part of this years total garden makeover, they needed reciting in another part of the garden. This was too big a job for one, in fact it was quite a challenge for the two of us and in the end after he had stopped laughing at us trying to balance one on a wheelbarrow (with a flat wheel),  my husband joined in and helped! The crates were very attached to their old spot and needed a lot of persuading and chopping to get them to leave, then we had to tip them over and scrabble about emptying them of old nettle filled matter, and then try to move them to their new home ( they weigh a ton!) At one point I think my daughter was thinking exams and revision seemed quite an attractive option rather than some mother and daughter bonding in the garden! However we got there in the end, and I think they look great!

 

WEATHER BIRDS.

I love learning from nature, it has so much to teach us.I live underneath mountains, surrounded by countryside and I try to tune into my surroundings as much as I can.As a keen, if somewhat slow runner and also a dog owner I’m out and about everyday. One of the country sayings I was taught as a child from my parents was about the weather, and how you can tell what sort of summer we will have by how the birds are nesting. I have been observing how the rooks nest for years now and as a general rule the higher the birds nest up in the trees the better the summer will be. Last year the rooks built their nests very high up in very tall trees, this ment they thought the summer would be calm. If nest are high the eggs and baby birds are very vulnerable to being thrown out and killed if we have bad stormy weather. Last summer they were definitely right we had a lovely summer, I was outside with my smoothies most days! It wasn’t scorching as I live in the UK not the Bahamas, but it was lovely! If the birds feel the summer weather will not be that great and their offspring will be at risk they build their nests lower down in the branches to offer more protection.Out for a run this week I saw to my delight that the rooks are nesting nice and high.The nests they built last year they are just adding to and leaving where they are. I’m hoping this means more fruit on the patio! But I might have a brolly on hand just in case the birds are mixed up or teasing me

 

 

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