Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nine days and counting.

Joking apart, chickens are a must have for selfsufficiency, as long as you have good housing and  good food for them they will reward you with the best  and freshest eggs you have ever tasted. Well kept hens are mostly free of problems, as long as you can keep them safe from predator's  and provide them with a dry clean house, clean water and food they will keep you well supplied with eggs, our problem is too many eggs and we seem to be forever baking.
We have now gone nine days without rain, the land has dried out and the hens are back to dust bathing. It is cold at night though and the rhubarb has had to be recovered with straw, we even saw a few flakes of snow today. But spring is just about here, the birds are gathering material for nest building, the daffodil's and crocus are out, the willow is in bloom and the hazels have catkins.
I have at last heard an owl, a long eared owl I believe, we have the right habitat for them. I am now waiting for the return of the Snipe, colloquially the Sky Goat, so called because of the sound it makes by drumming it's tail feathers, it sounds just like a goat calling.
Seed planting has started, Leeks, Brussel sprouts and more broad beans, so worth growing as they freeze  well, sweet peas and tomatoes, tomorrow I will start the first cauliflowers, the first of the french beans, calabrese , physalis and more sweet peas.
 The new peach tree is just coming into bloom but as there are no pollinating insects around I will have to use a soft artists brush to pollinate them, hopefully we might get a crop.
 The only seed to plant in the garden at the moment are the parsnips, the seed is in the freezer at the moment as they like a cold spell to germinate, but given the night time temperatures we could have planted them straight out.
The first ducks eggs are now in the incubator, we will add some La Bresse eggs to these on the 7th March and hopefully the ducklings and chicks will all hatch at the same time, providing of course the the hens don't let us down.
We have recently met another couple who are on the self sufficient road, they are also doing rabbits and  chickens, also they have goats, they make their own cheese as well as growing their own veg, but again they are not Irish, we now know of four people who have rabbits for meat, three are Brits and the latest couple are Swiss, I'm sure there must be some Irish people who do raise them but we haven't met them yet, we do know that you can buy rabbit in selected butcher shops and I'm sure they are not stocked just for incomers. Maybe as the recession gets worse more people will start producing more of their own food, especially meat, at least they will know it's not horse.

1 comment:

  1. Impressed by your daffs and crocuses. Ours are just starting to nod their heads down even on the S facing front of the house, so I think you must be a good 2 weeks ahead of us down in your sheltered 'dip' (as compared to our wind-swept hill-top).