Sunday, 27 May 2018

It’s been a busy couple of weeks outside here in St André while the weather’s been so dry and sunny. 

My neighbours offered me the orchard next to the field that they rent to me for my sheep.  I accepted instantly and having spent an exorbitant amount of money on post and fencing, the roadside boundary is 130 metres, photo below on right.  I found a great chap, Roy, to do the deed. 

Last Monday Roy had the help of my current Workaway, Damien and by Tuesday lunchtime the sheep were able to wander around safely amongst the trees and fairly long grass.  It may be that we have to strim the grass a bit to make it accessible to the sheep. 

We have collected 400kg of animal feed and stored it in the feed shed, two trailer loads of well rotted horse manure from my friends, Jac and Ken, and 500kg of small stones ready for shovelling onto the inevitable winter mud. 

The polytunnel has been completed sorted out, with the remains of overwintered veggies finally given to the hens, ducks and geese and more veggies planted to take their place.  I now have tomatoes, aubergines, sweet peppers, chilli peppers, coriander, strawberries, a fig, lettuces of various types, cucumber, courgettes and poppies all growing well.  

Here is one group of the sowings of broad beans and then shallots with some of the residents - Martha, Raoul and Lenny and some of the girls ...

Outside in the raised beds there are courgettes, sweetcorn, runner beans, tomatoes, beetroot, peas, broad beans, garlic, shallots, potatoes, rhubarb and fruit bushes all doing their thing, so hopefully there’ll be some good crops this year.   I have even planted some tomatoes amongst the garden flowers this year to increase our produce possibilities.  The vine is growing well with miniscule bunches of grapes showing all along the cottages.

When the work is done for the day, I am thoroughly enjoying my new swing seat.  It’s the only time of year I manage to read books and I am getting through them now while gaining a tan.  So far I’ve read the first three of these and have just started the fourth ...

The Writers' Group has turned into a lunch experience.  We met at our usual venue nowadays, Le St Antoine in Plemet and this was my lunch of country terrine, confit of duck and panna cotta.  As usual it was lovely.  We were also brought a mackerel paté extra to start with and a raspberry sponge bun with our coffees.

The annual Silfiac Plant and Craft Fair took place a couple of Sundays back and somehow I found my boot had accumulated quite a few plants before I took my leave.  Luckily I had parked close to the entrance so was able to drop each purchase into the car before setting off round the stalls again.

Honey bees are in very short supply around here.  I haven't seen any in the gardens around about, just bumble bees.  Heavens knows what will happen to the crops this year ...  Friends, Jane and Alan are bringing me three swarms, hopefully, this week to start building up my hives again but I am not as optimistic as I would like to be about their future here

My beautiful kitten, Nilly, seems to have disappeared.  She has been hunted for everywhere with no sign of her.  I feel very sad as she was a lovely cat and I miss her.

Three things I like:

1.  These wonderful long sunny days we have had during May - just perfect ...
2.  My Workaways, helping me with so much here in the house, garden and field.
3.  My four new bantam hens which were given to me by my neighbour, François

Flowers in my garden and the lane this month:

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