Pumpkins, the Patch and Onions

Today was a general day down the patch, mowing, sorting the new chickens out and generally taking stock of what’s doing what in the run up to harvest time. The grass in the empty quarters had started to look slightly worse for wear with the lack of decent rain, but the recent downpours has really helped and the grass is starting to lush up. I can safely say that the regular sheep grazing has helped keep the weeds down immensely and I can recommend it as an organic way of staying on top of them in newly sown pasture, especially against rampant chickweed.

The foster chickens (that’s what we’re calling the 6 chooks on loan to us) are producing 2 large eggs and 2-4 bantam eggs a day, so paying their way and the scaly leg mite seems to have been knocked on the head – yay!

In one grass quarter we’ve aquired a new hole in the ground – I have my suspicions that it’s a vole hole, but I’d be interested in what others may think as we’ve no evidence other than the hole size. Either that or someone’s using the patch as a golf course…

The patch itself is beginning to look a bit sparse with the disappearance of the potatoes, and lately the mangetout, peas and broad beans. The dwarf green beans are still putting up a good fight, but Suz is busy blanching and freezing those we’re just not going to get round to eating. The pickling onions are ready to pick, and the spring onions are now full-sized onions! I’m wondering whether we can pickle those as well?

Finally we have some gorgous yellow colours in the patch, by way of the pumpkins, which are reaching a decent size, and the marigolds which have done stirling service fighting the good fight against the evil that is carrot fly. So far not a fly in sight, but that may just be down to the fact that it’s so overgrown in the pumpkin patch that the flies simply can’t find the carrots in the adjacent row!

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