Busy vegetables and silly chickens

Work has kept me very busy for the last week or so, hence not finding time to write anything else, or even get into the garden for a long length of time. However this is how it’s looking currently:

ImageSo in there, starting from the bottom left of the screen you can just about see the poor battered garlic (fox cubs ran over all the garlic and onions and broke most of the tops), then middle left is peas and beans. Middle right is courgette and nasturtiums. Behind them, tomatoes – the excess from the first sowing I haven’t found space in pots for. And behind them, three (I think) types of potato. And behind that, sweetcorn, which miraculously seems to be surviving, albeit growing slowly… And behind them is a new bed we just dug over which hopefully will eventually be featuring black kale (or Cavolo Nero) Beetroot (golden, striped and regular) and red cabbage. We put the seeds straight in as it’s so late in the year – hoping they’ll be alright, although might need some netting once they germinate. 

In other news, I now know what a broody chicken looks like. I was seriously worried about Sally a week ago – she wouldn’t leave the nest, she wasn’t making her regular noises, she was all fluffed up and wouldn’t move if I poked her…finally I got ever-sensible bloke down there to have a look at her. Ever-sensible bloke reckoned possible egg-bound? So we ran back to the house to get some gloves and vaseline…I couldn’t find the regular kind so she got treated to Aloe Vera. And poor thing, got a finger up the vent to see if we could find the problem egg. That got her up! However, there was no egg.

After some more reading, I picked her up to get her off the nest and check for any other ‘ill’ symptoms and suddenly realised she had a massive bald spot on her chest. Suddenly it all clicked together…she’d gone broody. Unusual apparently in their first year, but it does happen. All this time I thought she’d been laying as normal – no, she’d stopped laying altogether and whenever she spied Henny-Penny’s egg, had nipped over to sit on that! I’ve been looking up how to snap her out of it, but a lot of the methods seem a bit harsh. I mean, she’s still eating and drinking and coming outside for a stretch so we’ll leave her to it for now. We don’t miss the eggs that much; so we’ll see how long it lasts for…

Next on my list of things for consideration; summer cordials and how to revive my cauliflower seedlings that I let get  too dry.



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