I don’t think we’ve shared this before, but this is the illustration that hangs on the kitchen wall. It came about when life became a bit too hectic, and various notes scribbled in various places, or stuck with magnets/bluetack/pins to various surfaces began to mount up or blow away, never to be seen again. So I set to work, laying everything out, so a glance could let us know what needed doing at a particular time of year.
The orchards got their plot labels – something they already had for their own records, but something only I knew! And there was also no way I could remember which variety was which, so now we can glance at the Almanac, look down the section of the month we’re in, and get a good idea which fruit are ready to harvest, or at least try and bite in to!
Then there are the season specific jobs – some with timings you need to get right, even legally. Hedgerows shouldn’t be cut from March to August, inclusive, if there are nesting birds present. Now we can safely assume that somewhere in the 800ft of hedgerow surrounding the Patch, there will be at least one bundle of fluff, cosied up in their nest, so we add it to the Almanac. Likewise, there are things beyond our borders that it’s good to be aware of – hedgerow fruit picking time is one good example, when to pick hazlenuts, when to even look for them! We can also track animal movements – moving them from pasture to pasture to clean the ground and prevent disease build up.
Of course, things change, plants die, animal numbers change, we come back with waif and stray ducks that need a home, we squeeze another fruit tree in somewhere. So the Almanac will be updated – this is the 2014 version, and it has changed since then, but we’ll keep it updated somewhere on the website – possibly on its own page.