Archive for March, 2012

Spring has properly sprung and managed to spend the whole day in the garden. Tidied up the herb garden, and finished digging the potato patch (whilst husband did a great job extending the patio – meaning I had less plot to dig!!). 

Last year, we had a bit of a domestic disaster when our crockery cupboard fell off the kitchen wall smashing everything (other than one small jug!).  So for months, we’ve had a large pile of smashed and chipped crockery bits lying around in the garden because I felt sure I could use them for something – if only I could think what! – and couldn’t bring myself to just chuck them away.  Well, today I had a bright idea – I smashed them all up into tiny pieces in a wheelbarrow and used the pieces to make paths between the raised beds.  We’re probably the only people with a path made from a random collection of cheap supermarket plates, old mugs, and bits of Royal Albert!

I’ve also used some window units we’ve acquired from friends over the last few months to cover the raised beds and protect the seeds sown this afternoon.  So far, I’ve put in: peas, lettuce, rocket, spinach and leeks.  The early potatoes are in, and so are the onions (under wire mesh to protect them from being unearthed by the hens’ rather aggressive gardening techniques).

All in all, a top day.  😉


As we are signed up for on-line gas bills, we get to use the nifty graph to see how our gas consumption compares year on year.  We’ve now had the log burner up and running for 13 months.  Our gas consumption for 2011-12 is staggeringly a third of the figure for 2010-11!  A third!  Granted, this winter has not seen the temperatures plummet as they did last year, but even so…it’s still a fairly incredible difference.  The house feels generally warmer because, unlike the central heating, we can have the log burner running pretty much all our waking hours (and sometimes well into the night).  And whilst we still have some problems with damp in the bedrooms, it’s generally less severe than it was. 

And the best thing?  If we just burn wood rather than coal, it’s carbon neutral and FREE!  😉

Let all the hens – established flock and newbies – out together yesterday morning and left both the main run and the small hen house open so they could choose where to roost that night.  I half expected to find them all snuggled up together in the gypsy caravan when I went to shut them in, but no.  The usual girls were in the gypsy caravan – the new girls had returned to their separate coop.  So clearly whilst they are happy to mix in the wide open space of the back garden, they are not yet ready to share roosting space.

I’ve let them all out again this morning – be interesting to see if they’ve all made friends by tonight.

Hen Malfunction?!

Regular readers of this blog will have seen the ridiculously large egg one of my hens laid last year. Well, yesterday when I went to the hen house to check for eggs, I was greeted with the opposite extreme:

Never mind those chocolate ones – this is a true mini egg!!  😉

New Arrivals

We have three new hens (someone else’s regretted impulse purchase donated to us!).  We cleaned out and re-felted the roof of the old chicken coop yesterday in preparation, and they arrived today at lunch time.  Very attractive point-of-lay – maybe their production levels will encourage the old gals in the main run! 


They do look very slight in comparison with the birds in the established ‘peep’, but no doubt they’ll mature fast.  I just hope they don’t get too badly bullied when they join the others.  Nice to have some young stock though to help replace our ageing hen population.

I’ve also finished digging over the main veg plot today (hoorah!).  Only the smaller plot to do now.  So should soon be able to start getting some veggies in…  Spring is definitely on the way.  😉

Bought a rag rugger kit ages ago (we’re talking years) but never got round to doing it – a combination of laziness and a fear it might be trickier than it looks.  The instructions suggested it was dead easy, but so do the instructions for flat-pack furniture, so that didn’t mean anything.  Anyway, finally decided to have a go – cut up a load of fabric strips as per the instructions, got out the little rugger tool (nifty little gadget with a sprung clip which grabs the strips of material so you pull them through) – and lo…’s…erm….dead easy.   Feel a bit silly now for not having done it ages ago.

But it does use up a lot of material – so there was me thinking I’ve got plenty when in fact, this might not be the case. I can see me prowling round the house in search of more bits and pieces to cut up….. I might get carried away…. 

‘Jen, what’s happened to the curtains?’ 

‘Jen, where’s my favourite top?’