Archive for April, 2011

Apparently people are beginning to hate Tesco so much, they’ve been driven to violence.  (See  Whilst I don’t condone violent demonstrations, I have to admit to a secret joy that people appear willing to get so worked up about a new store.  Whilst from a business sense, one has to admire Tesco, its success, and its ability to respond to the market, what is not so admirable is the way it buys up land around its competitors, and forces small, local stores out of business.  I, for one, am uncomfortable with one supermarket being quite so super, and having quite so much power.   Losing all our small, independent shops, losing choice and individuality,  is a huge price to pay for being able to buy lots of cheap stuff under one roof.

And a bit of me thinks if violent protest is what it takes to make people sit up and notice, then so be it.


A friend of mine has sent me a link to the latest RSPB campaign regarding the Government’s crack down on bureaucracy which the RSPB sees as a danger to some hard-won environmental safeguards.  Check out for more info on the campaign.

 Here’s a pictorial update on our progress so far:


Only time for a little more work on the gypsy caravan hen-house this eve (overhang and felt for roof, plus the shutters for the window) – here’s the latest photo:

You may remember that some time ago I mentioned seeing a gorgeous – but ridiculously expensive – hen-house in the style of a gypsy caravan?  And I probably made some throw away comment that we’d just get some wood and build our own for free…  Well, last week, some wood happened to come our way (someone’s old garage roof they’d dismantled, I believe).  So we ear-marked today as the build day.

The base and floor


The roof
Three sides on….

...and the roof on

Some members of the household were less than helpful

We’ve watched a fair few “Grand Designs” in our time, and quite like the idea of building a proper house one day, but I’m not sure either of us was really sure we could actually build a gypsy caravan from scratch as we stood there this morning with nothing more than a pile of wood and a sketched plan with some dodgy measurements.  And there were several moments when our novice construction skills were put to the test (“…how do we….?”  “Ah, this bit doesn’t fit…”  “Maybe we should have done that bit first….”) but after about eight hours work, we have now succeeded in producing the main structure, complete with stable type door, and a window which will have shutters (we ran out of light this evening so more photos tomorrow!). 

OK, the finished product is unlikely to be as glamorous as those lovely ones for several thousand pounds, but we’re justified in being quite proud of ourselves – not least for avoiding a single argument in the process!!

I wonder if Kevin McCloud would be impressed?!  😉

Well, the new hens certainly aren’t afraid of heights!  They won’t join our girls in the hen-house, but they’ve taken to sitting on the roof (see photo – courtesy of Hannah!).

Rescue chucks!

Five new arrivals today, from the usual chicken farm.  They’re relative youngsters (60 weeks) – only available as they had escaped from their shed/enclosure (?) are were therefore unable to be returned to the flock because of the risk of disease contamination.  Thus, if we’d not provided a home for them, they’d have been for the chop. 


Not quite sure how far they’d escaped, or where they’d ended up, but presumably we’ll have to be on the look out in case they try to escape from our hen enclosure!  For the moment, we’ve penned them separately from our other girls – just until they’ve all go to know one another a bit. One has already hopped over the fence and been beaten up by the established group! 

So our garden looks more like a small holding than ever now – especially now more of the veggies are coming through (carrots looking good, parsnips just peeping through).

With the weather breaking over the last couple of days and a couple of decent downpours, the garden is looking a little bit greener – and the peas plants are making an appearance.  The spinach too is beginning to come through, and the onions and potatoes continue to make excellent progress.  Still nothing to show for the carrots or parsnips in the raised beds though. 

The hens seem to have been on overtime for the last few days, so we had omelettes this evening – with cheese and home-grown chives (the herb garden is also looked much better since I weeded it over the weekend).  Very satisfying.  Not sure we’re quite ready for our own cow just yet though! 😉

The potatoes have appeared!  The only problem is that second earlies are ahead of the first earlies!  There are one or two first earlies poking through, but the second earlies are way ahead.  I can only assume it’s to do with the soil being too dry where the first earlies are.  Or that the second earlies had chitted better before I put them in…

Anyway, the important thing is that there are signs of life after what seems a very long wait!

You have to be very patient to be a gardener, don’t you?  😉