Happy Christmas All!

So the shed roof is now watertight and has been tested by our first two day downpour, and the chickens are spending most of the day sleeping and hiding from the mud.

Little do they know that Cluckingham Palace V3 is soon to be coming their way!

The ratty ba*ds have been chewing through the floor or their coop and have made themselves a lovely warm nest for over the winter with an unlimited supply of food. Great for them, not for everyone else.

So this afternoon Mr T and I will be off to get something to stop that…. a house on stilts!
I know they will still get in to the coop, but hopefully it will reduce one of the rodents luxuries – a nice warm bed.

 Plus, hopefully we will have less egg-loss if they cant carry them away down the ladder…. but we will see!

I will update with photos when we manage to get it home and up… I know I can’t wait!

Demolition Derby

I do love my new husband, and there are not many things I won’t do for him. However climbing up on a rickety old roof to look at a rotten bit of wood that he’s just been smacking with a crowbar is one step too far.

I have always been the office girl. I google the best places to find things and then send him on a mission to collect the lovingly sourced hunks of plywood and roof felt. Bet he’s glad he settled for me, eh?

I am terrified of heights, I’m not going to lie. So I always knew that the roof repairs would have to wait until the light of my life felt energetic. Or until he got bored of me saying how ‘cold the allotment is’ and how ‘lovely it would be to be able to have a cup of tea in the dry’.

Well yesterday was finally that day.

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I finished work a little early so I managed to get there just as the sun was going down (4pm?! Christmas is coming…) and found MrT up a ladder ripping bits of roof off.

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He had already managed to get the old rotten sheets off and cut himself on the old felt, so all was going well.

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Until he found this.

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“Come up and have a look” he said.
“Don’t worry, its safe” he said.

So I climbed up the ladder and stood on a beam, and I am telling you now – That wasn’t safe.

So I swiftly climbed back down and watched him adoringly, giving helpful advice like ‘be careful’ and ‘don’t fall off’.

I was on screw patrol, and would pass up hardware and hunks of wood salvaged from the old chicken run so that he could add a few more beams to the ever wobblier roof. And he was doing really well until it got so dark he couldn’t see the ground!

So ‘we’ gave up for the night and went home for chicken nuggets. Success!

He is back up there today (bless his little heart) to board out the roof and get it as secure as possible.

It’ll probably be down to me to felt it tomorrow since the days are so short now, but hopefully I will be a bit less of a cry baby about it when I can’t see the ground through the cracks in the beams I am standing on!

Am I in a time warp?

I don’t know what is going on, but I am still harvesting tomatoes in November?!

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Even the strawberries are still trying to squeeze the last drops from summer. I don’t hold out hope for any edible fruit, but its nice to still have some flowers around the plot when everything else is browning off.

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Unfortunately it wasn’t all good news though this week.

My beautiful Sue, ruler of the roost and queen of the coop has left us. I sadly found her on Saturday morning and it seems she has been a meal for some evil critter who made it through the coop door. Obviously the other ladies were very upset so it’s not been a nice weekend for us. 

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It has taken the critters over a year and a half to figure it out though, so hopefully whatever new fortifications I can create will keep them out for another year.

I have a plan this weekend to spend the day down there doing lots of chores and having a relax, so hopefully I will have lots of things to show you soon!

 

 

Phew! Now that’s over with…

As many of you know, I have been manically busy getting ready for my wedding to Mr T…

I am now happy to report that we are now Mr and Mrs T!

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I am very happy about this of course, but I am even more happy because it means no more evenings sat in the house making bouquets and invites and decorations.

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Although our wedding was pretty “allotment-ified”, so I suppose I can share some of my photos on here. Not that I need an excuse, hey!

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No matter how sad I am that it is over, it does mean more free time – YAY!

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We jetted off for a lovely honeymoon in the Maldives in the stunning resort of Furaveri (https://www.furaveri.com) and we’ve now come back down to earth with a bang.

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Its cold, wet and dark here now so I won’t have much to tell you about crops wise (except maybe some broccoli!) but I do hope to get some of the ‘big jobs’ done. This means getting the potting shed reasonably watertight, refelting the conservatory and hopefully getting some fruit bushes in the ground.

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My little Bantys have grown up well and are now bossing around my big hens.

Unfortunately, while we were away, it would seem that a weasel or other such horrible critter has gotten in to my quail hutch and stolen all of my ladies away in the night. We found the scattering of feathers last night when we got home and it would seem that the ‘babysitters’ found they were gone on Monday morning.
Evil little blighters.
Looks like more fortifications will be needed for next year.

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When I manage to make it up in the daylight – maybe the weekend- I will update you all on how many of my plants have survived my absence. Lets all keep our fingers crossed!

Love,
Mrs T!

 

 

The ‘Girls’ are growing up!

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You might remember that I few weeks ago I got some tiny little babies to join my flock, well now they are big and bold enough to join the big birds!

They’ve been hanging out in a “pen-within-a-pen” for the last few weeks and have gotten used to our bigger girls so one night last week me and Mr T spent a very tiring half hour moving all of my babies on to their big girl bed.

They LOVE it.

Although what they love even more is that they can sit on things much to small for the grown-ups, and seem o like lording it over them watching the world go by!

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Hmmm…….

I have a feeling “SHE” may be “HE” and Jimmy Hendrix is actually just ‘Jimmy’!

I suppose we will see in a few weeks time if we hear crowing!

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The Phantom Tomato Bug…?

I have been away quite a bit recently so haven’t bee able to update on here as much as I would like but here a few photos of the current growth spurts…

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But what on earth is going on here?!

marigoldMy poor marigolds were planted as a sacrificial tomato protector, but they seem to have some sort of white bug infestation…

I’m going to go and have a good google and see if I can find out what these are. Anyone else have any ideas?

The Goose Roost Sprung A Leek!

I am so busy over the next few weeks that I thought I would spend my Sunday dong some ab-muscle-blasting pulling up some of the weeds that have sprung up on the plot. That’s not quite all that happened though…

I am very pleased with the haul so far this year. The toms were ripening, the beans swelling, and look!

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I am not entirely sure what it is, as it is just labelled “winter squash”. I think I may have picked it a bit early but I was too excited and it wasn’t getting any bigger so I will try roasting it later in the week.

I met a lovely old gentleman who had some leek plants for sale, and spent a long time speaking to him about the best way of growing them and also about what else I can do around the plot. He was so knowledgeable and even gave me his email address so that I can run by him any queries I may have.

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I also got a free load of winter brassicas… he was so adorable – like a little garden Yoda. 

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I am going to make up my plot plan for winter 2018/spring 2019 one evening this week and send it across to him for approval, but apparently my first job is to get my Christmas Spuds in! That’s going to be Wednesdays job I reckon!

He gave me a little factsheet, beautifully handwritten with instructions on how to plant my leeks up, so I set to work.

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It was one of the hottest days of the year, but he said I needed to dig a trench so dig a trench I did. I did not, however, bank on him giving me almost double to amount of leeks he said he would, resulting in a total of 3 trenches and some spare baby leeks. I was sweating buckets and about keeled over from the work but I got there… and dug up some brambles whilst I was at it!

37670607_497836490660797_8529974434776219648_nI planted my little baby leeks the length of my dibber (broken wooden mallet!) apart, placed them in the holes and the watered them in. No firming or anything as apparently that how you get mud in your dinner!

So rather than just stop there, I thought I had better get the brassicas in…

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Then the 3 different types of kale…

 

Then thinned my apples and watered everything…

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Then picked some cucumbers from the triffids in the greenhouse….

By which time it was 8.30pm and I had not eaten since breakfast! Oh how time flies when having a ball!

My nails no longer look so pretty though and I am at a wedding over the weekend so I went home to scrub myself as clean as possible with a stiff brush and some Swarfega!

Summertime update

Spent a lovely few hours down the plot with MrT this evening.

Its been super busy recently with our friends’ wedding coming up but thought i would show you all how its going!

Starting with the sunflowers for the top table display

My lemon cucumbers are looking fab…

And make great additions to drinks!

The greenhouse is starting to look like a forest

And the courgettes have gone from tiny to huge in a few days

The pumpkins are like triffids in the sun

But the onions are as big as they are going to get i think

I plaited them up so that i could hang them to dry in the sun without the Rottie Beasts eating them all!

Lots of planting over the next few weeks to try and get the winter greens in, so i will keep you all in the loop when i can.

So proud of 2018 so far, even if i have spent most of the time and effort working “behind the seens” on the bramble control situation!

Think i deserve that cider…

New arrivals <3

Welcome to The Roost little ones!!

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We had a naming session at a family barbecue over the weekend – the only stipulation being that they had to fit in with my ‘famous’ theme.

Meet (Left to Right);
Morgan Freenhen
Jimmy Hendrix
Cluck Noris
MariHen Monroe
and
Jeremy Cluckson

My current girls are Rita, Sue and Bob2, as well as Rhihenna, Henifer Lopez and Henny Kravitz so the names will work well.

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They are fitting in well and have already escaped their chick-pen 3 times in 24 hours. Unfortunately I don’t think they realise that the big chickens will be mean to them until they grow up a little!

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They are Pekins and have beautiful fluffy feet… they’re gorgeous and make the cutest little tweet noise.

Hopefully the integration in to the flock will go well in a few weeks time!

 

England may have won 6-1, but I was on the bench

I’ve got myself a lawn, but not a bench to put on it…

I did have a pallet though!

So I made one from the other;

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First up, find yourself a pallet that you would not mind sitting on. Nobody wants splinters in the bum so a new one would be best. Even better still if it is treated already as it saves you a job.

Gather up your tools, a brew and a length of timber for the legs.

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Measure how big you want the seat, and the remainder will be the back rest. I was really technical about this… I sat on the pallet until it felt right.

The saw the pallet in the right spot, across the middle of two cross-beams.

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Then, make it look like a seat! Lots of screws in the bottom and a few through the sides and hopefully the seat shouldn’t fall off when you plonk down after a long days work.

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Use some proper screws!! Nothing too short that will rip out as soon as the weather turns.

Then decide how long you want your legs and cut the wood. I did two pieces at the right length, and two slightly longer so that I could have an arm rest.

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Then guess what, screw them on too.

 

You know how a bench should look, so I hope i don’t have to explain this part, but if I do let me know and ill send you my plans! It all depends on how long your legs are!

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Three screws in each leg should hold it.

Next up, measure the distance between the two legs as well as the length you would like the arm rests to be and cut the wood appropriately.

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This will help keep the bench square as well as stopping the legs from falling out from under you when you sit down like a bad jenga tower.

Screw ‘um in.

36003277_471147356663044_5660307824253599744_n ^Bench^ !

I think it looks pretty good for something done on a wing and a prayer to solve my seating problem. I don’t think my 20+ year old deck chairs will last much longer so it’s just in time!

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I’ve just got to get MrT to mow the lawn now and it’ll be ready for summer BBQ’s and picnics!