Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Planting willow cuttings

I set about planting willow cuttings today ( thanks Kate ).  They were partially soaking in water since I got them last week. It was well time to get them planted.

These are a mixture of basket making varieties. I planted them around the bees and along a fence line.

I am hoping they will give the bees more shelter and encourage them to fly higher in the orchard. 
As they grow, we hope to weave them into fedges, a living willow hedge/fence.
We will use the winter pruning rods for basket making.

A few more signs of life in the garden. The rhubarb has awoken as have many flowering bulbs around the garden. The daffodils and tulips are pushing up through the cold soil. There are lambs in the surrounding fields, it is spring!

I have made a start to clearing out the veg beds. The pigs are reaping the rewards of turnips, kale, radishes and cabbages that have been damaged by recent storms. 
One pigs is to go to the butcher shortly, and the other is to remain as our breeding sow. 

I need to get the veg beds cleared out and add compost to them. Maybe try and heat up the soil using plastic sheeting. There is no polytunnel for this season. It will not be worth our while to replace the plastic on it after the storms. 

My to-do list is very long. February is alway a very panicked month, as I try to get ahead of the weeding, planting, beekeeping etc.

The hens need to move back into their moveable coop. I am getting no eggs and are having to buy them. But the dogs are well feed and have a great shine from all the extra protein. I want eggs!!! We also need to replace the hens that we lost last month. 

The bees need plenty of attention from now on. I need to check their food stores every week as now is the time for them to starve, as the queen starts to lay. This puts a great deal of pressure on the colony. 

We need to buy a new cow. I miss raw jersey milk so much!!

Although I feel pressured, I am very excited for spring. The winter is a very inactive period, and I long for its rest by autumn.
 But now, I long for activity, longer days, sunshine and sandals. 


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