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Valkyrie last won the day on November 3 2021

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Cocka-doodle-loopy (18/19)



  1. You get very wet! You know it works when they get so cross they try to get away and both legs go like the clappers! Then they have a bath and you get splashed even more. Eventually you get to chase them, but by then you know they can get about and it just needs a little prompting to exercise! A couple of lads have crash landed a couple of times, but again, make them walk for a little bit, then a little bit longer and they've all been fine - no bathing for them necessary thank goodness - I'd drown!
  2. Well done to all. We had a poor year here. Weather wasn't kind and the voles, pheasants and crows have been a pain! Crows pulled up all the onions and I had to replant. Pheasants dust bathed and crushed plants. Voles just burrowed and nibbled everywhere. Weeds grew and when the weather was kinder, all I did was weeeeeeeed! But did have broad beans, the onions that survived grew huge and they will last us well into the new year and then the leeks take over. Spuds didn't do too badly, courgettes late planted and have given us a few - better than none! Didn't do much else as the beds were too weedy. But for the last couple of months we have made deep beds and added corners much taller so that I can set up canes for runners or climbing beans etc without worrying about them being blown down. So gradually sorting ourselves out and catching up. In the greenhouse the toms started off super even with the late frosts, but it was the rain and the dark clouds that seemed to interfere with their progress. They did catch up eventually and I still have some Sun Dried ones growing. We've started to dehydrate the toms - we have loads of passata and sauces! The dried toms are great to nibble on! Some we have turned into powder so that we can use that instead of wasting jars of tomato puree. More room in the freezer too! Mice have been a problem lately in the greenhouse - I guess the recent monsoons have driven them to find s omewhere dry - with food on tap! Slugs also been an issue because the constant wet has been ideal for the slimy creatures to squash themselves under the flooring. Peppers didn't do too well but I do have some enormous green ones. I'm hoping the current weather won't affect them as we are due some nice sunshine - otherwise they'll just go in the freezer green. Mice even ate the chillies! But I have elephant garlic making nice root systems so they are going into the veg beds this week. The normal garlic is a little tardier. Rescued some uprooted shallots that actually started to root where they'd been pulled up. They are now in the greenhouse and doing well. If they don't turn into yum shallots then perhaps I'll use them for seed. I have new shallots on order but won't get them until spring. Winter onions have arrived so I'll be popping them in the greenhouse this week too. All to thwart the voles! Popping netting over the top to keep the birds off and hopefully we will have a better year. I have saved seed from onions and leeks (and broad beans). This week I've sown a fair few cabbage, some Romanesco, salady things and I have cauliflower seedlings that are coming up strong. Fingers crossed! Indoors I have planted turmeric and I have a lot of ginger roots to go in. Turmeric is already sending up spikes nearly 3 inches tall while others are still a bit behind. Ginger has nodules so that will be planted soon. Just for something different.
  3. Congrats on your retirement! The thing when you have time on your hands but you wonder where that extra time goes!
  4. I've had a few jump down awkwardly and Squirt was a habitual bad lander - but she never learnt! Perhaps a massage or metacam will help as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer but I think that is by vet. You should see me massage ducklings - but then I can give them hydrotherapy sessions! LOL! Hope Dottie improves - tuna and mealworms, anything she likes, even make some pasta (vet gave thumbs up for Fudge re pasta) anything that will help put on weight - sunflower seeds etc.
  5. Still here but not on forum for some time! All a bit hectic here - renovations have started and I nearly have 3 walls to the new sewing room. Needs a roof though! Kitchen extension under way so hoping for January. Seems we have had family on and off since March and I am definitely nevereverever going to run a B&B! I need a holiday afterwards! I haven't done much at all this year - I have finished my daughter's wedding quilt but it needs binding (her 1st anniversary today!) but will be having the deferred celebration place in a couple of weeks - I need to get my act together. I too haven't been feeling creative this year. Seems a blur of veg (not brilliant but some late successes) and ducks and loads of tea making for builders! Trying to get my act together, but I will miss out this time. Thankies for thinking about me though - I didn't get any notifications! I notice the forum has changed around again. Or maybe my memory is failing - not difficult as I had a head start when I was young! Shame about customs - even if it is a gift? I can understand purchases, but a present shouldn't be charged. Postage is daylight robbery now, worse for overseas. Nice to see some of you still enthusiastic and it will be lovely to see how you get on.
  6. Yes I know. And yes I did have that issue. That is why I just use the normal emojis instead. It is only the equivalent of a Facebook like and to be honest, I really am not fussed using them now because of that silly rule.
  7. Yes, I had that before so I tend to do the usual emojis, but they tend to make the page jump and I have to scroll to get back to the comment section. I did mention it but that doesn't seem to happen to others and I think it was Mark? dunno who it was, said nope, it doesn't happen elsewhere. Annoying though. I do think the old system was way better.
  8. Our boiler is connected to an external thermometer - it is currently reading -3 (up a notch from -4) and adjusts accordingly. It is more economical as it keeps the heating at an even temperature without needing a drastic boost so uses less gas to do so. The house has been very comfortable all year round - we do turn it off in the summer - as when we first moved in, the house was freezing all winter long. The industrial boiler (why??????????!!!!) was replaced in time for the previous winter and served us well. I gather a lot of care homes have a similar system.
  9. Only accidentally spotted teeny ice balls on the back of OH's car this morning, not visible elsewhere! No slippers this evening! But the floor is cold in the kitchen so they get slipped on to go out there. Had about 30 seconds of teeny snowballs that the ducks tried to catch this evening but nothing else. Wind dropped too. Perhaps that's why it feels warmer. Lovely sunny day, but cold wind.
  10. I have two rows of carrots growing along the middle of two rows of tomatoes. One row has finally been harvested and we are working through the second. Both different varieties, a couple have carrot root fly but mostly pretty darned good and very sweet. Can't remember what they were called, but the seeds came from Franchi. It was an experiment and I was so surprised - never grown well outside but I've not tried outside in this place. Time for more experiments!
  11. They do choose their hoomans don't they! I'm wearing slippers this evening! It is that cold here at the moment!
  12. Well for small spaces, I'd recommend Huw Richards books. A young fellow and really knowledgeable - Veg in One Bed is really good - got it for my daughter who's garden space is limited. But I'd grow a few things together. Runner beans generally don't like having other things with them, but climbing French beans can be grown up a wigwam and you can have beetroot around the bottom - this can be done in pots too. Salad crops can be grown in pots for a cut and come again session. I grew carrots in the greenhouse with my tomatoes - they did well. If you have a pot for potatoes, I'd pop 3 on a small layer of compost at the bottom, add compost and another 3 spuds, layer with compost again and put another 3 in. Cover with compost and let them romp. But as potatoes are easy to get hold of and carrots also, I'd use my limited space for things like chives, thyme and other herbs. Then the peas, beans, tomatoes and peppers. We grew melons in the greenhouse this year. Ok but I could have used the space for something else. Sweet potatoes grew fine, but they were bitter - another smallholder agreed they can be hit and miss, so I can't be bothered with them. Gherkins are easy to grow and you can pick them as mini ones or larger. Kale can be picked leaf by leaf so you only need one plant - two if you want to add some leaves for the chickens to chomp. As they get taller you can underplant with something else like lettuce. Nasturtiums are great for salads - eat leaves, flowers and the seeds - bit hot though! OH pickled the seeds as capers. Chard - rainbow sort - can be eaten small like spinach and colourful. Spinach also easy. With the small raised bed you could grow courgettes with sweetcorn and French beans (3 sisters planting). Nothing quite like fresh sweetcorn - they haven't been left in the shop for hours - those like peas, are best straight from the garden. Sweetcorn turns to starch and loses flavour the longer it is left waiting. You need to ask yourself what you like eating, and go from there. I loathe beetroot, but I grow it for OH. Then you can try for successional planting where you harvest one thing and plant something for the later part of the season. Leeks or broccoli for winter and spring chomps! Oh aubergines in the greenhouse too! Hope we've all given you food for thought! And don't forget strawberries!
  13. Lovely pics Catsy. I do rather like your cat! What a handsome fellow - assuming it's a boy. It's darned windy and very cold here at the moment, but dry and the squelching is much reduced apart from where the vehicles churned up the orchard to the barn, but even that is better in parts. We were out this afternoon setting up electric fencing for the ducks new area. Yesterday was cardigan weather, today it is several layers!
  14. Brilliant - very colourful Luvvy!

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