Sunday, May 8, 2011

Strawberries & Pets on the Farm

Gale force winds have battered us for the past few days and show no sign of abating as yet.I have been out to the plots but have forgotten the camera most days.
Photo op for the new pet cage which Zwena has put out in the field next to the plots. The lambs and ducklings are in there now and the hens have a big new area near the tea rooms to make it easier for everyone to see all of the animals,needless to say there are usually lots of volunteers to feed the lambs!
Bottle feeding over and they bury their heads in the bucket of feed regardless of who is looking at them!
In the next pen are the ducks and ducklings, I think the Silkie helped in hatching so has come out with her foster babies.
It has not been all fun and games however! I had planted out the Mange Tout on Thurs, nice strong plants about 5 to 6 ins high. I covered them with branches, netting and used an organic slug blocker but this is what met me on Sat!Some have literally disappeared completely and these little stumps are what is left of others.
Mange Tout woz here!
The strawberry bed was covered with fleece cloches since it got its cleaning a few weeks ago, I also gave the bed a dressing of potash at the time.
We had weeks of dry weather and I removed the cloches last week and watered each plant individually through the opening in the weed membrane, needless to say it started raining that day and has continued almost every day since!
I was amazed at the amount of fruit which had set on the plants and it looks like we are in for a bumper harvest.
I used the slug blocker around the bed,netting to keep the birds off and we can just keep our fingers crossed now that the predators leave enough for us.
The raised bed is too high for the usual cloche hoops, I used my trusty flexible plumbing pipes.I broke some bamboo canes and hammered them into the ground, the pipes then fitted down over them to make quite large hoops for the netting.

Close up of the fruit, I think there is a definite red tint to one berry!
Calabrese plants have been moved out to their bed complete with cabbage collars, I did not have the collars the day I put them out and got them the next day. I hope the cabbage root fly did not strike in the meantime!
Only leeks and sweet peppers left on bedroom windowsill now, 6 different varieties of tomatos all potted on and moved down to the plastic greenhouse which I am keeping my fingers crossed will stay standing in these gale force winds!
3 hens are laying daily now and are the source of endless amusement!

14 comments:

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

OH WOW your strawberries look AMAZING

My mangetout in the low bed are like yours...chewed to pieces! So depressing!

Your lambs and ducklings are soooo adorable.

Why I garden... said...

The gale force wind is fierce, I could hardly get out in it today. I watched from the window various plants sway and wonder will they break in half. I was out this morning catching slugs and snails, suppose they have eaten your mange tout. Looks like you'll have buckets of strawberries. I've only 4 plants so I might get a few garnishes lol. Kelli

PeggyR said...

Your berries look yummy!

Willow said...

Yes the strawberries look so good. We are having too much rain and cold weather here. The Lambs look so cute with their heads in the buckets.

Marie (once The Tile Lady) said...

The lambs and ducks are so cute! I know you love having them there! So glad the strawberries look like they are going to bear well. Oh, I love your header picture, too, Peggy!

Dirt Princess said...

Look at all those goodies!!! We have had unusually high winds here for the past 2 months. I hope they have died down now. Seems like everytime I went in the yard to get a photo of a flower, I had to hold it to keep it still

Linda said...

How do you find the membrane around your strawberries? I'm swithering between membrane and straw this year.
Wretched slugs and snails! Do you have any plants kept back to fill the gap?

Will have to check back to see your lambs. The photos wouldn't load on my visit just now.

Matron said...

That's a big Aaaahhh! from Matron for the lambs... and an Oooooh! for all those strawberries. It looks as if it is going to be a bumper year for strawberries. Yours look amazing!

Peggy said...

Mrs Bok, maybe it is the mange tout taste they go for?!Peas on other plots are untouched?!The lambs & ducklings are fab and the sounds they make add a completely new dimension to the plots.

Why I garden,same wind down here ,it lets up for a few hours and we think it is gone but it comes back stronger than ever!I am keeping my fingers crossed for my plastic greenhouse!

PeggyR, thanks Peggy I hope they live up to their promise!

Willow, the weather all over the world seems to have gone mad!

Marie,how are you, the header is of my tub in the yard at home, Sinetti again this year, I love the colour!

Dirt Princess,I am keeping my fingers crossed for my plastic greenhouse as this wind continues to blow!

Linda, we put the membrane on last year so it has lasted since then, I built up a raised bed and tucked it in all around.It keeps the weeds down and the fruit clean, the slugs can still climb up though!
I have to sow more plants as I put in all I had!

Matron, you will have to visit again to fully appreciate all the changes!

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

That's an impressive strawberry bed! I use hose hoops too, at least you can make them the exact size you want. Loved the shot of the lambs with their heads in the bucket...

W. Latane Barton said...

love the new header picture. Sorry you are having such winds. But, they will go away eventually and you can have peace and calm once more.

Scarlett the Heavenly Healer said...

Oh how utterly adorable! Lamb envy!

Paula said...

Hi there, sorry for a dumb question but what is a 'slug box?' The strawberries look a lot more lovely that what grows here in Australia

Theanne and Baron said...

Peggy, I'm so happy you're enjoying the chickens and that they're laying well. The strawberries look fantastic...certainly there will be an abundant harvest! Had to look up Mangetout...so did the slugs get them or something else! And how sad that anything got them! Do you have more coming on to fill in with? The lambs and duckling are adorable!