Do you ever feel so fortunate that you have the feeling that something bad must be round the corner? I am having such a lovely weekend just chilling out with Becky and our two whippet shaped friends that I am pretty sure I am owed some bad luck….or at the very least I owe it to someone to pay this good vibe forward in some way. (Suggestions welcome).
Tonight I have cooked us a roast dinner which is 100% sencemeadow. Roast mmuscovey duck, creamy mash potatoe, green beans, courgettes and a raspberry and red wine reduction. It was delicious and I don’t think we will ever get bored of saying “100% sencemeadow”, which we frequently do when eating one of our home grown meals.
I distributed our courgette surplus to a bunch of sporty girls on Thursday night, but we are still drowning. Courgette cake tomorrow I think.
So I got a tweet just before the summer holidays from a friend who I used to work with asking if I knew of anyone who might be able to help her primary school run an egg incubation project. I didn’t play it very cool and was a bit like that child in the back of the class with their hand in the air saying “me….choose me”.
I can help you with that Jo, and would be happy to
I tweeted back, so a few months later I am in the middle of another incubation project with an inner city primary school. I can’t really tell you how much of a kick these projects give me. I know its a cliché, but seeing the kids effervescent with excitement makes me remember how awesome nature is, and why I love to be part of it everyday. I went into the school a couple of weeks ago and talked about eggs, and chickens and brooders and hatching to a group of 40 year 5s. The cutest question of the afternoon was “what will we feed the eggs?”. The kids were great, and Jo had done some very cool prep with them on life cycles.
I went back to the school on Wednesday and set the class up with 7 eggs in my little incubator. When I came home I put another 11 in my big incubator as a back up. The really exciting news is that I did a sneaky early candle today and one is definitely developing. Roll on Wednesday I wanna know how they are all doing. 🙂
Oh dear…this summer we have been terrible at uploading pictures and stories to the blog, but on reflection I think there is a reason. We have now been living and working Sencemeadow for 4.5 years, and some of the ‘projects’ of the past have become just part and parcel of our yearly cycle. I don’t mean to diminish the immense pleasure we both still get out of growing our own food, but we are finding that less and less of it is brand new and noteworthy. To summarise our summer I want to talk about the vegetables that have got on well, and the ones that have struggled. The seasons has been pretty good weather-wise with lots of warm sunny spells to swell the fruit, but not so scorching that everything dies in the heat.
- The onions have been fab, we have a huge bag of storing onions in the garage, which I am steadily working my way through cooking up veg sauces to freeze for the winter.
- The potatoes have also been great. Our friendly potato farmer gave us a few different types of seed potato this year. We have found that..true to his prediction..the only variety that has not got on well was the Maris Pipers, which the slugs sniffed their way to and ate their way through. The other two varieties have worked well and are super tasty. We have a huge sack in the pallet shed.
- The courgettes have, in the end, been great. As you may remember we struggled early on with lazy plants that I was pretty convinced wouldn’t come to much at all. In the end the courgette plant has produced more courgettes than we can eat. The variety is wonderful, really firm and tasty, and so prolific. We will definitely grow that one again.
- The corn grew well, but was stolen by squirrels. The little devils helped themselves just as the crop came good.
- The Tomatoes have been steady this year, we have been getting a few every couple of days, from both the outside and polytunnel crop.
- The aubergines have been good,we have at least 4 little aubergines to swell up over the autumn.
- The poly tunnel bush forming french beans have been ACE! I am definitely going to do them again next year. They are a great follow on crop after the early poly tunnel salad.
- Chard as good as ever
- Outside french climbing beans have been a disaster again.
- Outside salad all eaten by insects.
- The Autumn raspberries have been fab, but I think we over pruned the early raspberries at the end of last season.
- The Strawberries have been steady, but I think need replacing.
- The gooseberries and current bushes were all eaten by the birds and need netting next year.
- Ditto the cherries
So can’t complain…the veggies have been late but generally good. We feel that we need to put back some nutrients into the soil next season, I think we have been a bit ‘take, take, take’, and we know that isn’t how mother natures rolls.