Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas break

Just like at work, I'm taking two weeks off for Christmas.  Only in this case, it'll be slightly longer than two weeks.  I'll see you on 4 January, 2017 with December's food totals (hint: halfway through the month there's still nothing on the veg tally).  Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Moving a cherry tree

Well, it's done;  the morello cherry tree has moved from the center of its bed to the back, next to the fence.  The husband dug it up and moved it (I supervised) last weekend.  Hopefully it'll like its new position.

I initially planted the tree several years ago when that bed was mainly ornamentals;  the spot where it now resides had a large hardy fuschia.  That fuschia grew leaves upon leaves, but hardly any flowers--and those that did manage to form were tiny.  Seeing as it lacked the main attraction of fuschias (i.e. flowers), when our neighbor replaced the fence I gave him permission to dig it up.

Losing the fuschia really opened up the space and made me consider that section of the garden for a vegetable patch.  Last winter I suggested we move the rest of the perennials, and a couple of roses and peonies went to new beds further away--but we kept putting off the cherry and eventually it was too late to move it.  Buds formed and I didn't want to risk overstressing it;  I resolved to move it as soon as it went dormant this winter.  In summer I pruned it flat on one side to make it easier to grow against a fence;  I watched it every day through November for leaf fall.  Finally the day came.

Although he had to cut through quite a few roots, the husband managed to get it out and replanted about four feet away.  I imagine we won't get much of a harvest from it next summer, but the space it's vacated will no doubt give us a good yield of vegetables;  an acceptable trade off.  And I'm sure in subsequent years we'll get our 5 pound cherry harvest once more.

And if it dies after all that--well, it only cost £20.  I think we can afford to replace it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

November garden recap

Fig tree, before the snow

I don't know if the rutabagas, celeriac or remaining beets are worth eating.  Still too small, and not much chance of growing bigger now.   The 2017 garlic is growing strongly, and some of the shallots have sprouted. 

Peas and beans

I managed to clear away most of the runner beans at last, and put several pods to dry for seed on a tray on top of the fridge.   The 2017 broad beans seem to have sprouted nicely in their new patch of ground.


I restaked a few of the sprouting broccoli which had falled over.  I still have kale, cabbage, and a few Brussels sprouts standing, but I didn't harvest any in November.


As the chickens broke out and ate pretty much all the chard, there's not really anything left in the Misc. plot.  Now that the runner beans are cleared away, that space will be 2017's Misc. bed.


I moved the potted peach tree off the patio and into the garden, to expose it to a full winter chill, in the hopes it will flower in spring.  Not decided as to whether I'll actually plant it out or leave it in the pot.  All the fruit trees and bushes have shed their leaves now.  The few strawberry runners I replanted were scratched up by marauding chickens, but luckily I still have the parent plants.

Perennials and herbs

All perennials gone dormant/died (hard to tell really).  Mint and tarragon also gone dormant but chives, rosemary, thyme still leafy.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

November 2016 Food Totals


1.5 oz salad greens
2 lb 8 oz squash (untrimmed)

Does not include fresh herbs (rosemary, mint, chives) which were too small a quantity to weigh, i.e. less than 0.5 oz.  

Note:  I weigh all my vegetables after preparation:  peeling, trimming, etc. 


No fruit harvested this month


Total:  160 eggs from 12 adult hens
Total feed bought: 2 bags layers pellets (40kg total)


No preserves made this month


Cider and elderflower and rhubarb wines still fermenting.  No new homebrew begun