Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Hay making and gardening - high summer is here.
Because the weather seems to be set fair for a few days the farmer has started his sub-contract haymaking in earnest. Today has been cloudy but there is a slight breeze and it has been warm. These are not ideal conditions - it is better if the sun is out because then the hay does not become soft. It needs to remain sharp and rather brittle to be really good hay. This evening the sun is fully out and there is not a cloud in the sky, so it should be drying nicely (fingers crossed.)
I spent most of the morning in the vegetable garden. First of all there was a hen blackbird trapped in the raspberry netting but I managed to get her out unharmed. It is always sad if we find one too late but there would be no raspberries for us unless we covered them because blackbirds find them quite irresistible.
Then I picked the daily bunch of sweet peas. This year there is no white one and the colours tend to be pink, lilac and magenta. They need picking every day so that they don't go to seed and stop flowering. Also picked my first big bunch of marigolds (calendula) - they are one of my favourite flowers and look so pretty in my old blue jug.
Then it was time to gather in the veggies for today's lunch. The peas, runner beans and broad beans are so nearly ready - but just not quite. So instead we had courgettes and Swiss chard - plus a good early helping of field mushrooms from the pastures, and raspberries for pud. It looks as though this year is going to produce a good crop. Their taste bears no relation to the ones we buy in the supermarket.
There is something so satisfying about eating one's own produce - makes all the hard work and the weeding worth while.
After the farmer came back from doing the hay we cleaned out the hen house together because tonight is the big night. The chicks, who are now six weeks old, are being transferred into one of the 'rooms' in the hen house, to give them a bit more space. We shall transfer them after dark when they have quietly settled down, otherwise there will be such a furore. I'll post a photo of them in their new abode tomorrow.