Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Garden and chickens update

The garden has been neglected, I am afraid. This always happens in the autumn as it is my busiest time of year with the work that I do: people always want to buy more books in the run-up to Christmas so I have a lot less time available to me for other things. I manage to keep up the laundry and the cooking, but the housework gets a little neglected some weeks, and the garden is way down the list of priorities for me. The colder weather means that the FH is more reluctant to be out there as well - and to be honest, he is such a help to me in my work that he is often assisting me and has little spare time either. (He is snoozing right now, though - a pre-lunch nap to get the energy for lunch, perhaps!)

The garden situation at the moment is that there are heaps of horse manure on some of the beds, waiting for drier weather so that they can be dug into the beds. One bed still has some leeks growing at one end of it, another has the freshly-planted strawberry plants, which are settling in quite well now, and there are broad bean seeds just germinating in one other bed. That must mean that the green stuff growing in most of the others is weed! Argh!

The chickens are OK. The younger meat birds are growing well, and the older ones are being eaten at the rate of one a week with the occasional one being put in the freezer so there are about 7 or 8 left. Must go and count them! The laying birds are not - laying, that is. This causes me a moral and financial dilemma. I am feeding 16 "laying" birds, which obviously costs me quite a bit, and I would normally be repaid in eggs, which I can use myself and sell a few surplus ones to my neighbours. At the moment, though, there are no eggs being laid and so if I want eggs, I have to buy them. If I had not got hens of my own, I would just buy free-range eggs and that would be that. However, my budget is not stretching enough to allow me to buy free-range eggs at the supermarket AND still feed these hens of mine. I don't feel happy about it, but that is the situation. I am having to buy cheaper eggs apart from when I can source cheap, free-range eggs, which is not often.

Got to go and do the ironing now - and then maybe some baking.....

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