Sunday, April 09, 2006

Not sure whats in store yet for today apart from a cook up

Norfolk Lasses Eggs Total to Date: 363 Day:158

KoKKo 121 Personal best egg weight 86grms 29.11.2005
Adelaide 121 Personal best egg weight 80grms 26.02.2006
Ginger 121 Personal best egg weight 80grms 27.03.2006

London Ladies Bantam Eggs Total to date: 41 Day:26

Dilly 15 Personal best egg weight 36grm 27.03.2006
Freckles 15 Personal best egg weight 37grms 28.03.2006
Pumpkin 11 Personal best egg weight 35 grms 01.04.06

I don't know what the weather is playing at lately. Nice sunny weather yesterday down here, heavy snow up north, and this morning I nearly went for a burton after slipping on the thick frost and ice. My stomach is still churning. I was only going to let the chooks out first thing and have a couple of railway sleeper steps down to the pergola where the entrance to their pen is. Fortunately I grabbed one of the upright pergola pillars for support. Phew.

Up the allotment a few weeks ago, in the plot a few along from me, which the couple have had for four or so years now, Geoff mentioned to me that they had been up there on the Sunday and sowed crops on half of their plot!

There's is only half as wide as mine if that as they have got a huge wide grass almost road between theres and the next to save working the land. You can get two cars side by side driving down it! The bottom third is grass too. But it is still alot of land. They had it ploughed like all the others and rotorvated it.

I was really surprised as the soil is still too cold to plant or sow anything here I would have thought apart from moving established plants or putting in fruit bushes or canes.

There are rows and rows of nice neat lines with pegs and string, and G said that they sowed lots of packets of veggies, like parsnips, carrots, salads, onions, purple sprouting broccolli etc. Just think, they are sowing that in the ground and mine haven't even got their long sprouts yet because it si so cold.

Last year, they sowed things and then let it get overgrown so most were lost. Such a shame, but you really do have to keep on top of things to keep the weeds down and get crops. It is not a couple of hours on a Sunday sort of allotment when you have a lot of land to look after. Even the tractor boys goes once a week at least and rotorvate between the rows of their potatoes to keep the weeds done, (but not hand weed).

I do wish them luck with all their seed sowing, and hope that I am totally wrong and that all the seeds germinate. Since that sunny Sunday we have had more frost, quite a bit of it, days of torrential rain too, and sleet.

But perhaps the seeds lie dormant until the right climatic conditions to get going. We shall see.

Off for breakfast. Back later.

3pm update.

This is the first time I have sat down (apart from eating dinner a little while ago) all day.

I haven't been out to check the egg situation this past hour or so, but at last count, Ginger and KoKKo had laid an egg.

Freckles somehow got through the fencing that divides the pen, to lay an egg in the green Eglu beside Ginger and Adelaide's

How she gets though and why she likes doing it I do not know - just for the sheer devilment I shouldn't wonder.

I put them all in the big fenced off area of garden this morning, all except Ginger, she has gone off me and I have a job to catch her. It is because I put a beak bumper on her in a bid to stop her having a go at the banties - or if she did, so that she would not be able to do them any harm. I don't know how long it will take for her to forgive me - if ever - but she missed out on a nice amble in the sunshine today.

Dilly shouted as soon as I put her in there, so I took her out as I figured that perhaps she wanted to lay and egg - so I put her back in the Eglu nest. The she came out shrieking indignantly to be allowed back out into the garden, so out I took her, and then we had a repeat performance and then she went off with the others to feed, chill out, preen, and have an amble.

From the conservatory window I could see her looking for me again, and she shouted at me when she saw me, so I picked her up and put her in the nest again. 15 minutes later she was out and about and calling me, so I picked her up and put her with the others and looked and she had laid her egg.

Lesson to be laarnt - don't let them free range until the later afternoon when they should have laid their eggs.

Had a marathon cook up. Made a summer pudding mix of currants, strawberries, and raspberries, and made two big sponge puddings with the fruit mixture underneath so that when I turn out the sponges the fruit will cascade over and down it. These I had packed and are in the freezer. I made two big fruit crumbles and have two containers with cooked summer pudding in, and have frozen a couple of bags of crumble mixture I made. I am so used to cooking en-masse that I can't get my head around small amounts.

Pat prepared all the parsnips and carrots that I dug up. We gave lots away, but still had to many to eat in a week so they have been roasted and vacuum packed and frozen for one of those days when I am worn out and need a quick fix lunch.

Lunch today was roasted and skinned chicken breasts on the bone, cooked in wine, leeks, and onions - also our own, with some herbs. Roasted parsnips, steamed January King cabbage and carrots. I never liked cabbage until I grew some this winter. It tastes different and doesn't have to be that soggy stinky slimy stuff that we used to get served at school!

Off to put my feet us and read a book - I am nearly at the end and want to finish it.


  1. chris2:13 pm

    Well you never know. I sowed parsnips and carrots in raised beds in late feb and it took a month for the carrots to show and another week for the parsnips.
    It must be very demoralising for them if they come back to find nothing has germinated though.
    Maybe it is a new years resolution to really give it a good go this year.

  2. I really do hope their things grow, truly.

    But we have had really thick frosts and the ground has been like concrete here in the part of Nofolk that I live in.

    It is great that yours have geminated - maybe the they got some protection from the wind etc in raised beds?

    Our allotment is really windy all year around - you have to feel it to understand it!

    Great doing battle with the elements though

  3. hay you are right about planting before the soil warms up, you eather get a poor stand or if the ground is wet and cold the seeds rot in the ground.when we get warm weather in april a lot of people get the fever and go out and plant a garden, then pay the price. what does come up get frost bit, usually thoese people get discouraged and let everthing go to weeds.that what the Bible says a time and season to plant.My sisters have posted their baby pictures on their web so when they post you can see their picture. I have tried to do this. your is my first post today so will see if it works!in case you haven't figured out yet I am DIFFERENT. so my picture will be different.

  4. the flowering tree is called red bud. it grows wild in the ozarks, as well as the dog wood. the dog wood hasn't bloomed here yet but this time of year ever day brings on new things. i plan to post the plants as they come out.

  5. Thanks Patsy
    Looking forward to seeing the photos

  6. denise t - usa2:38 am

    yes i have read that most hens lay in morning after a feed (makes sense with the weight of food pressing down, and activity to move things along), and late afternoon best to let them wander free, as they will have a few hours before sunset when they will want to come in anyway...i am going to try that here when mine are old enough and large enough to range about.

  7. Hi Denise

    Mine do not seem to have read that book and lay them at all times! Apparently it takes 22 hours from start to finish to make an egg and also the light is a factor which we all know. Maybe they will regulate their egg laying now that we have moved the clocks forward an hour to BST


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