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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

Some new team members

I’ve been waiting patiently for these little guys to arrive and yesterday afternoon my neighbour loaded them up at his place and brought them over. I had sent my two ewe lambs over to another neighbour so was happy to welcome two new girls, and a boy to join my happy flock. The girls are unrelated to Romy, my lovely ram, so will hopefully produce some nice little lambs come spring time. He certainly showed them a lot of interest on their arrival. The boy however got straight into head butting action with the other wethers I have here. The usual bloke thing, trying to establish who’s boss!!

It was a perfect day here on Sunday, sun shining, nice and warm. Ruby enjoyed a swim but is happy to do this regardless of the weather. Summer here has barely shown itself this season and we’re already saying goodbye to it. Certainly happy not to have had 40+ days where you worry about the health of your animals but a few more warmer days for the garden would have been great! Should have had the extended family over for a get together today and it would have been perfect for showing everyone around and enjoying company. Oh well, with covid restrictions that wasn’t happening. Hopefully by April we’ll be good to go.

I spent a bit of time this weekend doing chop and drop in my apricot and peach guilds up in my slowly forming food forest. I find that I can get away with hand tools. It’s nice not to create noise while working and I can listen to a podcast or just listen to the birds as they enjoy hopping through the branches. I was able to harvest lots of woody mulch from my support trees such as the tagasaste and thickly cover around the base of the apricots and peaches.

Permaculture teaches you to think differently and where in the past I might have looked at the long grasses that grew on my swale instead of my failed cover crop, as a nuisance to eradicate, I look upon it now as a harvest that can be put to good use. Looking at the long dry grass that I pulled out I suddenly saw a solution for another problem I have. For the duckling bedding I’ve been using sugar cane mulch which costs in a number of ways and comes covered in plastic. This dry grass provides more than enough carbon to soak up the nitrogen in the duck poop to keep everything in their house fresh. Fantastic - one less thing to head to the shops for!

My autumn fruiting raspberries are starting to to fruit. Up until now I’ve had enough for a snack as I picked but today I managed to get some in a jar and into the kitchen. I usually freeze them straight away to retain their goodness but today decided to whiz them up and use them in my second ferment for my kombucha. Usually I don’t bother with the second ferment but more recently I’ve been experimenting with fermented drinks so thought giving the kombucha a bit more love was definitely due. Can’t wait to see how the raspberry kombucha turns out!

The front garden is looking very big and green. The zucchini plants are massive and the corn is well over my head. Hopefully soon the some corn will be ready. It’s my first time growing corn for some time so am excited to have some delicious sweet corn on my plate. Also growing the maize variety for popping and flour so interested to see how that turns out too. While I was in the garden I discovered this young lady taking too much interest in my ripening tomatoes. I had thought mice were making little holes in the fruit but it seems that I may have been wrong!

It was another lovely weekend on the homestead 😊

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