5. Jul, 2017

A day in our life

A typical day at our home for waifs and strays begins around 6am, especially from spring until end of autumn. These are the months where everything needs attention, from hens hatching eggs to our garden allotment and many things in-between.

At the moment, we have four hens sitting on eggs, waiting for the arrival of their young. This, sadly, doesn’t always happen, especially if we haven’t got a cockerel in residence. However, the hen will still go broody and steal anyone else’s egg if it’s available. They will even stay broody without an egg in sight. With these hens, we lift them off a few times a day to have food and water, hoping they will stop brooding. I have tried everything to encourage them but nothing seems to work. So we have this problem for around 21 days, often longer!

In the allotment, everything is growing, well almost everything. The corn, at least, is looking as good as we could hope for. Planting in blocks, rather than single rows, as sweet corn is wind pollinated and will have a better chance if the male flowers at the top of the plant have a greater opportunity to shed their pollen on the female tassels below. With each plant producing one to two cobs, we can look forward to lots of sweet corn in about 60 -90 days.  

Next to the corn we have a long row of runner beans, however, I have to laugh at myself (and I’m sure my kind and unassuming husband is laughing) as I have grown butternut squash in between, thinking they were beans too. I can see we will have a problem in a couple of weeks, when the squash expands.

Walking down the path, I check on the carrots and the courgettes, the pumpkins and the peas. All are doing extremely well, despite the random way I have grown them. In the winter part, the cabbages and sprouts, parsnips and swedes, are growing albeit slowly. There are rows of potatoes too, but I was late putting them in so we shall have to see how they go!

The greenhouse is like a mini rainforest, with plants growing taller then they ought and enough tomatoes and cucumbers to keep the village going for many months. It is quite obvious I have a lot to learn still, and will have to watch what I plant next year!

Around the pond, fruit trees are blossoming and so are the weeds and wild flowers. I often sit here, on an old bench that needs fixing, with a cup of sweet tea and my thoughts. Newts scurry around beneath the lily pads and often, in the headiness of summer, I see dragonflies mating on the edges of pond or hovering above it. It is quite a sight!

To-day, I have finished my chores and so I am sitting here writing and wishing that summer could slow down. I don’t want to miss a thing!