Wednesday was a weak and wobbly sort of day, so I potted up some more tomatoes – Yellow Pear and Alicante. I grew lots last year on my plot but even then there was never enough for all the sauces, and ratatouille and other recipes I wanted them for.
This year I have great plans now that I have the little food drier. I want to do something along the lines of sun dried tomatoes in oil, and things like that. Again it will be experimental, but worth a try.
I went to bed in the afternoon and had tea with ‘the bowler’ – well a few cream crackers for me as that was all I fancied and only had them as I have to take all the pills with food. He was having a meal after the match. It was the first game of the outdoor season, and for once it was dry and not too cold. Every year so far it has either been rained on or freezing cold; I was so pleased they all had a nice evening. And his team won the match – even better.
I went up the lottie to see to the chickens and to let them have a run around, then decided that if I could start up the mower I would mow the meadow.
Chickens shouldn’t be on ‘long’ grass as it harbours ticks and things apparently. The articles never say how long is long if you know what I mean. Their meadow had long bits around the edges as you have seen in previous photos, and they do love to dive at the bouncy fencing and push through it to get what is on the other side, so to be on the safe side I thought I would mow it all.
I took the mower to the bottom and couldn’t get it started. Mainly because I couldn’t get my head in gear! After half an hour of weak pulls on the string, I realised that the lever was set to the tortoise and should have been pushed down to the hare! Once I did that it started first time. It is a really old banger of a mower and made up of spare parts of different ones, but we had it serviced and it started first time last time I used it so I was baffled. Trouble is, with all these petrol machines, they all work differently. The mower at home just needs priming three times and a pull to get it going. The big rotorvator needs 12 primes, a petrol switch turned on and a handle held before a good strong yank on the string to get it going, and the little one – well that has a mind of its own!
I digress – I took all the fencing down and mowed the whole lot. I thought the girls would be terrified of the noise but they didn’t bat an eyelid, just hovered around to catch any insects or flies that I disturbed.
Again – 2 hours seem to be the magic number, as that is what it took me, but it does look lovely now that it is done. Perhaps I should have done it the other day – it might have made digging out the border bed easier.
Geoff had discovered a pheasant’s nest in the fence between him and K’s. He showed me so that I could take a photo. It was wonderful and reminded me of Dilys’s nesting days in our garden.
Here they are very well camouglaged, the pheasant had gone off for a feed.
This is the view through the wire - I am glad I took the photo - as I now know there were twelve eggs there yesterday afternoon - hopefully she will have laid some more
today and not abandoned the nest. I might get Geoff to block it off altogether on K's side, at the moment it is inbetween two fence panels with a bit of access to the side.
He told me not to tell anyone (apart from on here of course) as K brings his little terrier dog up the allotments and it walks all over everywhere as it is not on a lead, and Geoff quite rightly, did not want the nest disturbed.
To my horror when K came up last night with his parents, he came and told me that there were partridge eggs and that his dog was eating them. I told him that it was a pheasant’s nest and that the pheasant had been sitting on them, and we didn’t want them disturbed. He said that the pheasant was still sitting on it, and that his dog was just trying to get at them and hadn’t actually. He called the dog off but it kept going back to it. Grrrrr.
The dog kept wandering all over my plot and getting in the way when I was mowing up the top end where I park my car. It is a lovely little thing, and doing what dogs do, but it is a shame they don’t keep it under control. K said that it had caught a baby rabbit on my allotment and that it would love to get at my chickens. I told him that my chickens have a solid fence around them, the electric fencing (not wired up) and are locked in their run for safety which is pegged down, and said, (with a smile on my face but I meant it) that if his dog did get in there, I would be after him and would have his guts for garters!
There in no way anything can get to my chickens with all those obstacles unless it has human intervention – I think he got the message! Kids huh? He didn’t say it jokingly but in hindsight he was probably just showing off and trying to be ‘big’.
When I put the chickens up there a few weeks ago and he saw them for the first time he said to me, ‘Are you allowed to have them up here?’ (Even though he is friends with T who has lots of them and geese up the end).
I sweetly said that I had permission, as had T before he put his on there a couple of years ago.
He then said disparagingly, ‘They attract rats, and you have to come up here twice a day to feed them’.
I bit my tongue and just smiled and said that I was up there every day anyway, so they it was no trouble.
The fact that the big farm with its mountains of pig muck attracts rats, and there rats all around the countryside and towns wasn’t obvious to the lad.
I doubt that a rat would sniff around mine anyway because there is nothing to attract them. They can’t get at any food or the chicken litter, and their food store I keep in a container in my car!
The farmer has stringent rat control measures in place, so I have no worries in that department.
I chatted to his step mother, and invited her to help herself to some broccoli which she did. I saw them quite a bit in the evenings last year and so they got quite a bit of my harvest – there was plenty to share.
His father told us that K was not into growing anything, but just playing with his tractor and rotorvators, which is fine, and he apologised last year, for the fact that it had been left to grow tall thistles and dock weeds which blew across our allotments like snow in summer!
I am really pleased that they have made an effort this year and planted long rows of potatoes, and have a fenced off an area for onions and last night they fenced off some more and planted some cabbages they had bought, so it looks good.
It looked great this time last year, but they left it and the novelty wore off and everything got swamped with all the weeds, even the potatoes and strawberries. But I have high hopes that this year will be different.
K’s stepmother came done to see the chickens and loved them, and was surprised how tame they were, and that I could call them and pick them up and give them a cuddle and stroke them. I think K does like them too really.
Well I have been on here too long and need to get lunch prepared for the golfer – and to do something with the rest of the rhubarb I cooked, and I really ought to get a loaf on the go – just have to see how much energy I have once I get going.
Thanks for popping by for a read. This page is a bit like a grumpy old woman isn’t it – blame it on the pills LOL
I hope to have good news about the pheasant nest - but am not altogether sure - will let you know