Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Well as you can see I've slowed right down with the number of posts I've made to this blog - this is because I've been busy in the veg garden mostly, and we also have extended our self sufficiency efforts to include bee keeping.  

For those who follow the Ethel Project, some photos of the garden in its present state. In addition to this, I've planted honey berry, pear and a third grape!

Above and below, various peas now growing their pods. Most of the veg I have planted is native to Europe and are heirloom, meaning I can save the seeds (this does not work with F1 types from garden centres). There are obvious exceptions to this, notably the potato which originates from the America's, though I've managed to find a variety called 'Saxon'. A friend tells me he once grew a variety of beetroot called 'Wotan'!! 

The pods are a wonderful yellow and the flowers vary from blue thru purple!

above - young blue berry in the foreground with red current behind. In addition to these fruits we have white current, strawberry, gooseberry, honey berry (a member of the honeysuckle family) black berry and raspberry, tay berry and wine berry.   

Squash and courgette (zucchini to our America friends) with the start of a coppiced wood frame which they'll grow against. Cut the bottom off old plastic tubs / garden pots and put these into grow bags, then back fill with good compost. This helps keep the fruit (yes they are a fruit!) off the ground, holds the water for longer and helps protect against the snails and slugs. 

one of our few Wyandottes - a hardy small breed from America which are ideal for small holders. I've bred chicks for about eight years, and Wyandottes are by far the best breed I've kept. They lay good sized eggs (for a large bantam) and still can be used as a table bird. As I only keep pure breed birds I don't get eggs over winter (you'll need a hybrid for that).  They go broody maybe twice a year but are excellent mums! John Seymour suggests if you want ducks, use a broody chicken to hatch them -  chickens make better mums to ducklings than ducks!!

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