Tag Archives: farming

Two years and counting!

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Sorry my dear readers!

Last time I posted was on Sept 25th 2014 and I have been a bad, bad blogger…

So much happened, I don’t even know where to start. It’s insanely busy here.

First of all, the majority of continuous news are always posted on our Facebook page, details of which can be found on our About page. So if the timely updates are important to you, please find Olives and Acorns there. I will also reply to messages and questions much faster on FB.

That out of the way, here is what’s happening on the farm these days.

Building:

Kitchen and bathroom built. All that’s left is the bedroom and living room which we’ll tackle next year.

Animals:

We have 4 sheep and 2 lambs. A pair of goats and 3 kids. A dog, 4 cats, 5 ducks and 14 chickens. There have been a few births on the farm (sheep and goats) and so far no kid or lamb died and the process wasn’t as scary as some website will make you think.

Land:

We started in 2013 with 1.45 hectare, now we have almost 5, due to our next door neighbour wanting desperately to sell his lot last year. That gave us an independent access to the property, 2 big Barns and some lush growing soil, which is why we’ve moved all our growing next door, away from all the animals.

Garden:

We’ve moved it to a better patch of land and it’s doing great. I’ve just planted all our winter veg. We also fenced it off so no animal can crash the party 🙂 Although cats are welcome to come and hunt for some mice.

The road is getting fixed next week and we are also hoping we’ll get a pond or two dug with a JCB.

Food:

We largely eat fruit and veg from our own land, but I buy staples from the supermarket from time to time. Not only our meat consumption went down to once a week or once every 2 weeks, I also became a much better cook! We bake our own bread and I make preserves from a variety of fruit and veg.

There is still a huge amount of things which needs to be done, but practice makes perfect and each year we are more confident and comfortable with what we do and while it’s not slowing down it’s done faster.

Right, I have to run. We have friends for dinner tonight, and I want to make lasagna with homemade pastry and some dessert. I’m thinking eclairs or lemon squares. 🙂

Hope to speak to you soon!

Spring, Glorious Spring!

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It’s warm, people! Like the weather in its plus twenties warm!  It gets hot from 12 till 3pm and we have to have a siestaaaa… *grinning*

Anyway, update. This is what you’re waiting for, right?

Lots of planting done, but it’s still feels like we are too slow.

The vineyard has been fenced off from the chickens. We just used the netting we brought from England, poles bought here and stones on the bottom. Hopefully it will keep other critters away!

We’ve made progress on long beds!

The biggest one has some peppers, chillies, okra, parsley and basil in one end, and courgettes and pumpkins on the other. We plan to fill the rest with aubergines, more okra and herbs.

By the way, we bought one of those 1000ltr water tanks which you can see to your left, and Alex plans on having a drip irrigation system in vineyard for watering. We’ll see how it works out.

The second bed is the deep trenches with various tomatoes, thyme and Thai and Russian basil, but it also has marigolds planted on the edges.

Third bed is my favorite. It starts with borscht beet which my mom got me from Russia (it’s doing really well in that bed), continues with garlic (you can see its shoots on the pic) then moves into spring onions, Detroit Red beetroot, goes back to garlic with Brussel sprouts in the middle and ends up with a bit of kale. (yes, I am going a bit mad with companion planting!)

Fourth bed starts with peas and mangetout in the middle, surrounded by carrots. Then there is a potato bed with coriander, leeks, and another potato bed with coriander. Peas and mangetout are really pretty right now.

Fifth bed is not done yet as it needs a lot of destoning, but I’m planning on dedicating it to onion planting.

There is another row of trenches which we haven’t touched yet, but hopefully there will be more mangetout there.

Moving on to the orchard.

First bed is potatoes surrounded by Russian tarragon. I made a mistake planting tarragon directly and nothing came up. Apparently you have to transplant seedlings into the soil, so I’ve planted it again in the greenhouse.

Second and third bed are local lettuce mixed with onions (all bought as seedlings).

This one is broccoli, chard, cauliflower and Brunswick cabbage. It’s all colour coordinated in my head and so far it’s doing well.

Fifth bed is cabbage golden acre, kohlrabi, cauliflower, cabbage Brunswick and kale.

6th bed: leeks in the middle, surrounded by radishes, beetroot, spring onions and lettuce.

7th bed is a disaster as it’s the one I’ve done first, when the ground was still soggy. It has strawberries, and I planted sorrel and thyme around them. I think the seeds must have rotted in that much water, as nothing came up so I’ll have to rake everything, mulch it and replant 🙂

8th bed is rucola, oriental lettuce and chard.

9th bed is strawberries and spinach.

I’ve got no pics for 10th and 11th bed (which I just discovered) but one of them has dill and marigolds in the middle surrounded by cabbage. Another is radishes, beetroot and carrots.

We also have a lot of things planted along the fence – gherkins, artichokes, sunflowers, beans, gladis, fennel and dill. It should be amazing when everything shoots up and opens. 🙂

Right now I’m working on extra project and we have 3 more beds to fill in.

I’ve also started working under the fruit trees in the orchard.

Apricot which we planted in November now has marigolds and basil underneath.

Two peaches and a cherry planted in November as well have garlic planted underneath.

We had our first plum tree blossoming, I spotted two more which will do the same soon.

We also found what we think is wild plum (at least Internet says so!), and it has gorgeous blossoms too (2 or 3 trees in total).

My daffodils are opening up one by one! I planted them in December.

They are all a mix of different bulbs, so they are all different which is very exciting for someone who never planted flowers before 🙂

At last Alex and Shaun made beds for our corn seedlings in the field.

The pic shows it unfinished, but it’s done now. We have corn there, pumpkins, watermelons, melons and beans. There are sunflowers along the edges.

Alex made me a small field for quinoa which I’ll plant this or next week. I actually read that it does better in the cooler weather, and I’m thinking now that maybe I should wait till autumn to plant it. Any ideas?

There are more news, so I’m splitting this post in two.