Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stormy weather.

Autumn seems to have arrived with very strong winds, last night the wind howled all around and the rain lashed down, the water containers are now full to overflowing, the winds have continued throughout today but little rain and once again very warm sun, I wonder what tomorrow will bring? It's hard to plan what work is going to be done with the weather so changeable.
 The latest project is an inside job, or rather a workshop job, waterproof feeders for the hens.
 Two of the hen houses are large enough for the feed to go into the house but five of the flocks have their feed outside which is OK when it's not pouring with rain, but a lot of feed gets spoilt when it does rain which could be every day for the next six months.
 We have tried various feeders, none really successful, either the wind blows them over, or the rain still spoils the feed, or the plastic disintegrates quite quickly.
 Once again I turned to Google for inspiration and found exactly what we needed, a wooden feed shelter, the price however was very off putting, plus they don't appear to be available in Ireland.
They were still standing after the gale.
 I showed the design to  Simon, can you make something like that please? An hour later and the first two were made, three more to go, cost? One quarter of the ready made ones. Thank goodness I have a useful hubby. They got tested out overnight with the storm raging all around, they hadn't moved or blown over and there was no rain in the feed dishes either. Hens have now tested them out and seem to like them which is what matters. Another job successfully done.
The straw bale barn is still not finished, it  needs painting and more compost on the roof, but at least we now have a stack of mushroom compost that we can use,
Lots of spent mushroom compost.
we collected it from the farm on Monday with plans of using it for the new raised beds, still we can always get more, probably this coming Monday. Spent Mushroom compost is a wonderful waste product, it improves the soil and fertility, the worms flock to it, and it's free.
The late cauliflowers are standing well, so far none of them have bolted so we wont count them as a glut, we can just cut them as we need them.
The tunnel is slowly being cleared ready for the winter planting of garlic and onions, however the tomatoes are still producing and ripening, I will however pick some green ones tomorrow so I can get the chutney made, this will be the last preserve I will make this year until the Seville Oranges are around for marmalade making, by then we will looking towards spring and another season of growing, planting and weeding. Time seems to move so quickly.
The flowers continue.

The flower garden still continues to bloom and give us flowers for the house although the season does seem to be very muddled, we still have Foxgloves in bloom alongside Delphiniums and Aubrietia, all a bit strange, but colourful.


  1. We are going to clear out our poly-tunnel this week. We have lots of Calendula's in flower at the moment. Going to get some more Spring cabbage plants and some winter onion sets this week.

  2. Onions and garlic do well in a tunnel, you get an earlier crop of onions as well. our average weight on the garlic was 130g which is bigger than you can ever buy. Had hoped to make more headway in the tunnel but tomatoes are still ripening, picked another three pounds today plus four pounds of green ones for the chutney.

  3. Sounds like you know what you are doing with the tunnel, Anne? The garlic crop is amazing! Have you ever grown potatoes during Winter in the tunnel?

  4. We did it a couple of times in Spain and it worked well but we did have two tunnels, here we have only tried it once in a bed, although the spuds did well they took up a lot of space and were still growing when we needed that bed. We have tried them in bags in the tunnel and that was a failure, as we grow so many outside we have decided that it's not worth the effort.

  5. Replies
    1. Despite the winds that we have had the last few days plus at times heavy rain the feeders has stayed upright and the feed dry.