Sunday, March 1, 2015

In like a lion.

Where's that worm?
It seems that winter has not finished with us yet, it might be March but the first day has brought snow with it, for us not a lot, but in Roscommon  they had a blizzard, this was a shame as the first Sunday in every month there is a very good poultry market there, today's would have been a good opportunity for people looking for new breeding stock and sellers alike, however snow stopped play early. We have friends who go every month and always call in on us on their way home, normally around two thirty in the afternoon, today they were with us before twelve, soaked through to the skin. April should be better but by then the breeding season will be in full swing.
 We have set our first eggs today, to check on fertility, these are the La Bresse, a French table bird, I have  orders for hatching eggs but we must check the fertility first. This will probably be the only hens eggs that we hatch this year, we will do duck eggs as well, and raise some day old Hubbard chicks as we  normally do plus a couple of  piglets. This along with the occasional joint of beef will take care of our meat for the year. The beef will be coming from a small farm about twenty miles away, they are in conversion to Organic and will get their symbol in May, they have specialised in heritage breeds, the beef is from Dexters, a small breed of beef ideally suited to the  Irish climate and soil, we have already tried a roasting joint and it was superb, even better than the rib of beef that we had at Christmas, they are also doing Tamworth pork and Jacob lamb  which we will also try although Simon is not keen on lamb. It so nice to see a young couple who are dedicated to farming and the heritage breeds and to be able to buy directly from them. Once again their meat prices are cheaper than any supermarket except of course Lidl , but we will go for quality every time.
Stage one.
With no real gardening weather to speak of I needed something to fill my time, all the early seeds have been planted and the straw bales for the straw bale gardening experiment are still undergoing the conditioning process so I decided to make another basket,
Weave the base.

using fresh willow as we have lots of basket willow growing now, I wanted to keep my hand in, it's a year  since we did the green basket making course.
Inspection time from Misty.

Not that we need any more baskets,
First test by Zara.
but the cats love them.
It meets with Freddie's approval.
This one is supposed to be for gathering the vegetables from the garden in, it's a little crooked, fresh willow is much harder to work with than dried willow, but it is very colourful, I love the colours in it and the cats think that it's just for them.
Not perfect but colourful.
I must have a look around the garden and see if there are any more long wands that I can dry ready for next winter, there's no doubt that using seasoned willow is far easier on the hands.
The daffodils that I expected to be in bloom by this weekend have decided that it's too cold, they remain in a suspended state of animation.
The snowdrops have been wonderful this year but sadly are nearly over but all the crocuses are out,
when I say all I mean the purple ones. Once again I had planted yellow as well as  purple but once again, not a sign of the yellow ones. I have now planted yellow crocus three years running with the same result, not a one! I will not try again, I'm just not meant to have them. 


  1. Love your basket and how industrious you are. Oh, nothing to do, ill just whip up a basket. LOL I look forward to a time when i can fill my days with such activities. I also went to a market on Sat and it was washed out. I feel so sorry for the stall holders. Some of them travel great distances.

    1. I don't like having nothing to do Lynda, I am always thinking of new projects.

    2. Oh i think of them all the time too. and think and think and think..... I can spend all day thinking. LOL

    3. Yep, I have just remembered a painting I started a few weeks back, I had to put it away as we had visitors, I can get on and try to get that finished.

  2. One can never have too many baskets, Anne.
    The weather here is just so windy even tidying outside is a health hazard, but we have had a fair amount of sunshine.

    1. We have had very strong winds over the last few days Irene and with it last night came snow, it has snowed on and off today with hot sunshine in-between.
      Next post will be about value for money houses, you might just be interested.

    2. I will indeed.

    3. Wind power people!!!! If i win tattslotto im buying you a wind turbine.

    4. Now that would be good, we get enough wind here to run the whole country.

  3. I love your basket, more inspiration for me!

  4. Thanks Kim, I must try to gather more to dry though as it's much easier with dried willow unless you are using a former for creels, even then it's hard on the hands.
    Love your blog by the way.

  5. I have seen the Dexter's and other rare breeds like the Kerry cow here in Ireland. Are they dear too buy? I also like the belted Galloways.

  6. Zara is a beauty, love the basket. We are finally getting warmer weather and some thawing. Your pictures of spring flowers are wonderful. Ireland in the spring is the best. I hope you snow has gone

  7. The basket is great...far too good for just garden use though, no?! I love snowdrops, such a pretty picture. Lauren x