Sunday, 4 February 2018

Rhubarb, a birthday, bathroom and Annie :)

I am really noticing the change in daylight hours this last week. Que the panic moment where Spring is upon us and I don’t feel ready. In anticipation of this, we’re getting a nice, early starting with the seed sowing again this year. Inevitably there will be some losses but it has served me well for the last 2 years since we started on this journey.

We have now sown most varieties of tomatoes, peppers and chillis, aubergine, leeks, peas, lettuce and cucumbers.  The peas went into guttering and have been placed in the greenhouse, for when they are ready to plant out, maybe April time.  They will just slide straight into a trench from the guttering, suffering little disturbance and making life easier for me.

I've sown SO many tomatoes this year.  A few reasons, one as my harvest was poor last year, also to find out which varieties suit our weather here in the North East from which I will save seed and use next year.  I plan on making and preserving enough tomato sauces (be it pasta, ketchup, bottled etc) to last a family until the next tomato season and I also will sell some, be it plants to grow on, or tomatoes to eat.

Some of the tomatoes from last weekend are flying up - for those which are leggy, I will replant up to their leaves as tomatoes are happy to do this.

Below the broad bean expermiment is underway.  The Aquadulce are coming through ahead of the Bunyard's exhibition.

Finally sweet peas are doing well (ignore the label, it's not what is sown).  I'm really looking forward to a great display of sweet peas this year, they are lovely plants and the bees love them too.

I invested in some capiliary matting to hopefully help with the watering of all the seedlings as that is a very time consuming job once we're underway.  Anything to make life easier!

The rhubarb that I put the black bin on is not showing at all, but this little plant here took off last year and it is looking like it will this year too!  Look at it, no forcing and it's away already.  The growing season is here!
In doing all of the seeds, I am spending a lot of time in the potting shed and Annie has been joining me now she is allowed out.  She is turning into such a lovely dog.


Unfortunately, the fox has paid us another visit.  The 3rd now.  We have Vorwerk chickens that free range completely, meaning they sleep where they want to.  Inevitably that meant they were easy pickings and 4 of the 6 went last night.  The 2 hens that remain are now in with the other chickens and locked away on a night.

One of the reasons I am not managing to post so much is the amount we have going on at the moment.  Here's one of our current projects.  The family bathroom.  It is one of the more dated rooms in the house so we have decided to get on with it rather than wait until the Autumn, which was the first plan.  Unfortunately, the walls and ceiling all need replacing, but at least it should be a job that we only do once.

I'm lucky Ste just gets on with it - this is how we take old baths out in this house.

I'm sure it'll be worth it!
It's Grace's birthday on Wednesday, she will be 11.  This is her 3rd birthday in the house and for each one we have thrown her a little tea party.  She had a friend over, family came and we enjoyed a nice few hours together.  Look at the cake my Mam made for her - simply delicious!  Grace is a lucky girl.
I really am trying to make sure we all slow down a bit here as January has gone by in the blink of an eye and it's a bit worrying!  We get up at 5 and don't stop until we go to bed around 10.  Being busy is great, but not at the expense of time going by too quickly.  I'm going to see what we can do to slow the days down a bit! 

6 comments:

  1. Oh Tracy I envy you your weather. All we have here is snow, snow and more snow. It snowed all day yesterday and some of the main roads were so bad the police closed them. It has to be really bad for that to happen. We shovelled about 8" deep snow this morning and about an hour ago it started all over again. Big flakes, can barely see across the street. Lots more shovelling tomorrow I think!! Enjoy all your seed sowing but do take some time to 'smell the roses' as they say!!

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  2. Are your tomatoes on a heated mat? Your seedlings are flying. I've got lettuce and spinach on the go. I might start some others now I've seen yours🙄

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  3. You are doing well, even in a small plot there are never enough hours, you have a family life to balance as well. The matting you have for your seedlings I have and it works well, I did buy the small bits to start with, but then got the huge mat, it holds water well.

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  4. Lovely to see a post from you chic, even though we chat each day! Great job with the seed sowing; I was looking at some similar mats yesterday but will have to wait until I can use them in the Poly House. I am leaving my seeds until the end of the month I think but, as usual, you inspire me to get on with stuff! Annie does look comfy in the potting shed. Grace is turning into a mini you, lovely girl. Will be fun to see how Grace and Harry grow up as they are the same age. I know what you mean about slowing down, just where did January go? I need to start dragging myself out of bed a bit earlier. Very excited when Jon starts part time as, strange as it could sound, he will be up earlier to get our current projects going and I will be up with him. Try a game of Happy Families in an evening to slow things down; the boys have always loved playing it and we always end up in fits of laughing!x

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  5. Hi Tracy

    Lots going on as usual. It will look fab when it is all done. Funnily enough I managed to get some forced rhubarb at Waitrose today - have been looking for weeks. I usually bottle some and freeze some as OH is partial to a rhubarb crumble or two. You have been busy on the seed sowing front. I still have not been able to get out in the garden to sort it a bit. Weather has not been good enough.

    Grace is growing up quickly as is Annie.

    Enjoy every minute its special.

    Take care.

    Tricia (aka Pattypan) x

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  6. look how busy you are with all the seedlings! We dream of a greenhouse one day but for now all the window sills are filling up. Our grain bin house is just under 700 square feet so space is at a premium. And yes, slow down when you can.

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