Thursday, 29 April 2010

Productive Morning

8.00am: Sainsbury's



9.00am: Aldi. One of the special offers this week is bedding plants and I figured it was a quick and cheap way of gaining sufficient for the Hay Baskets. Of course, I bought more than I went in for and my Bank Holiday weekend will include a lot of time potting up some of the bigger plants into larger pots. For a tad over £20, I thought this was a bargain.



10.00am: An even bigger bargain. Whilst tracking down the owner of an escaped lamb on Tuesday I made the acquaintance of a farmer in the next village. One of the few people locally who has straw in old-fashioned bales I was invited to call by to collect some. After an argument about money, which I won on the principle of "if you don't let me pay you I cannot come and ask for more", EJ would only accept £5 for all three ...

He was determined to put the bales in fertiliser sacks to protect my car, with his wife showed me around some of the lovely Georgian farmhouse and gave me a tour of the yard which included lots of chicks (I can see us ending up with hens!), pigs newly arrived from auction and very happy in their barn (some of which will end up in our freezer this autumn) plus some young cattle, but the biggest treat was a ewe who had unexpectedly lambed this morning. As I arrived EJ was sorting out the legs of the twin who had got himself stuck and I watched a tiny little lamb enter the world.



After a conversation which secured the future of my cow muck supply we got talking about gardening. I'm going to grow on some of my spare cucumber and tomato plants for him in exchange for manure. There are no words to explain what a joy it is to live here and get to know people like EJ who make the local community what it is. (It is no surprise that his Aunty is one of my sewing friends, and we have many other acquaintances in common.)



Checking the propagator on my return I'm pleased to see that Hobbit hasn't lost her green-fingered touch :) and four cucumber are already up - that's in 48 hours.

Ollie's Sunflowers are also doing extremely well.

19 comments:

  1. What a morning! Farmers are worth their weight in gold. I'm sure it will be a productive friendship for you all.

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  2. Sounds like you're really getting to be "at home" there and making loads of friends. I'm so glad it was the right move for you to make a couple of years ago.

    I must say though, sometimes I feel exhausted just reading what you achieve in a day. (giggle)

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  3. Sorry to be a grump, but unless your photo is very deceptive, I think you'll find that is straw, not hay. We agrics are a bit pedantic about these things!

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  4. Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. I am grateful for your suggestion re mystery plant....I bet I am cherishing a weed.

    How wonderful muck for cucumber and tomato plants.....don't you just love living in the country....I am living the dream. I have waited most of my adult life to move into the Kent countryside. Better late than never.

    Lovely well organised greenhouse.....mine seems a little chaotic....too many plants and not enough time.....

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  5. Sounds like you're making true progress there Bilbo!

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  6. Hi CB, not grump at all - I knew perfectly well it was BARLEY STRAW! But of course, I was referring to "hay bales" hence the confousel which has now been corrected.

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  7. What a treat! I have a nearby farm where I buy a bale of straw each year. I even had a choice of 'wheat or barley' when I went last year! I have planted my squash and cucumber so will keep an eye out for them germinating. We've had some very warm days recently, should be any day now.

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  8. Thanks for all your comments this week.

    If you feel exhausted, how do you think I feel :) :)

    The curcubits are in a heated propogator in the kitchen although the first four seedlings are on their way back to the g/h where there is better light.

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  9. Your a very busy Hobbit! Now dont forget when the summer comes..however short or long it is, you MUST put your feet up and rest!!

    We'll no doubt see you at the local allotment open day in June this year where you'll have interest in one I'm sure.....ours!!

    Mr Photo

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  10. Morning Mr Photo, does this mean you've got to the top of the Q? If so, many congrats, know how much you have been wanting a lottie. When is the open day?

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  11. I'm "looking after" a plot for someone who has a very bad back. He has already had one operation and with another looming we have permission to "Do what you want with it". Due to his back problem the plot has not been used for a couple of years so Mother nature (Bless her!) has been busy reclaiming the land. Nettle by nettle I'm now in the process of reclaiming it for cultivation and so far have managed to rough dig 4, 13` x 4` beds...with two more to follow before I finally define bad edges and pathways 3ft wide for my partners wheelchair. I have use of this plot for "at least a couple of years" so I still remain on the waiting list for our own plot. Our poor little greenhouse is groaning under the extra pressure as I have now sown seeds for the new plot.

    Mr Photo

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  12. Good luck with the "reclamation". Hope all those nettles are going on the compost heap!

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  13. I rarely read anything from someone who has the seed sowing compulsion even more strongly than I do but I think you may take the crown. Good luck with all your plants. It is a pity you are not in Wales, we could do a swap or two!

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  14. Do tell me off if I've been skim-reading (well I do have a lot to catch up with, you've been so busy!), but what do you want the hay/straw bales for?

    A big 'ahhhhhh' for the new born lamb & a big 'yum!' for the thought of local reared pork later in the year!

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  15. welcome back Hazel. You have not been skimming because I haven't said what I am going to use the straw for (but I'll give you a clue - it's not the strawberries!)

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  16. Are you growing massive Pumpkins and need a straw bed for them?

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  17. Mr Photo - I might well be growing massive pumpkins if the seedlings are anything to go by but that is not what the straw is for.

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  18. Hmmmm...has quilting stepped up a gear to "Au Naturel"? Or are you using the hay as mulch?

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So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

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