I have had a very busy few days.
I have been exchanging my labour/ gardening skills for some much-needed firewood, seeds and other bits n pieces that I cannot produce myself (Some yummy edible treats for my daughter’s birthday on Sunday were amongst the items I bartered for this week )
I have also been tending a regular client’s garden for the first time this year. The big Spring clear up and grass cutting commenced on his plot this week. 27 grass boxes full of lawn clippings were removed!… which sadly he doesn’t compost himself but sends away in his green waste bin to be composted by the council.
The ground was a bit wetter than expected but I got a good finish and the client was very happy with the results. I also dug out some of his last remaining compost, from an old heap he had tucked away at the back of his plot, into a few wheelbarrows to spread on a large rose bed he has at the front of his bungalow.
I aim to bag up some of my well-rotted horse manure and use that on some of his other flower borders, as they could all do with more organic matter being incorporated into them.
On top of all this outdoor ‘work’, I am also selling my organic kefir grains online, making my cheese/ bread, milking my goats each morning , tending my own garden and all my livestock, getting seeds sown and helping my father sell his old motorbike on ebay.
I have squeezed in my basic bread baking/ housework/ washing and H’s educational work in-between jobs…or whilst working.
H often brings a book along with her when we head out to work on someone else’s plot. She is also keen to learn more about gardening or the plants and insects we come across during our work outside. Every activity is a learning opportunity!
Jobs that I have failed to get done are: more wood sawing/chopping (I am very low on ‘ready to burn’ fuel atm) , new geese enclosure fence posts erected, although I did manage to paint them all with preservative, so they are ready to go but just not actually in the ground…yet!
I am still in the midst of trying to empty the old woodshed at the rear of the cottage and get all the stored wood onto the side drive ready to cut and stack into the ‘not yet built’ woodstore …and I have to admit that the cottage floors haven’t been hoovered for two days *sigh
I seem to be chasing my tail.
But despite a hectic week, I have managed to get fairly organised for my youngest child’s birthday this Sunday. She has already had one gift early, some stick insects, as it would have been impossible for me to hide them. She has two Indian stickies and two Black Beauty Peruvian ones.. and yes she has named them all!
If the weather is nice on Sunday, we plan to take a picnic to our local open farm (yes, a busman’s holiday!), with one of her brothers and her dad and whoever else wants to join us.
If the weather is wet we will have a family day indoors and a mini party with a fancy tea and cakes and play board games.
Today’s jobs have included doing the last of the laundry, digging out some of my homemade compost and sieving it.. adding sieved leaf mold and sand to it.. and using it to fill the inner cardboard tubes from a year’s supply of loo rolls ( I keep everything haha).
These loo roll tubes get used to grow my peas and beans in and also some runner beans for a client’s garden.
I have run very short of space in my teeny lean-to greenhouse, so have used an insulated box with a clear perspex lid as a mini greenhouse.I have placed this against the exterior South facing wall of the cottage, where the brick behind it will retain heat and where there is good light. Fingers crossed it does the job!
We have had a very cold Spring so far and many plants are a few weeks behind schedule but my borders here at Riverside are finally coming to life and we got a light sprinkling of much-needed rain today which made the garden smell wonderful. Am I odd by loving the smell of rain and wet soil?
…..and some sad news.. Crystal, the ride n drive pony that H enjoys riding, and the one that I occasionally drive as a single, is off to a new home for the Summer..possibly long term ..along with her three companions, Freddie, Bunny and Paddy..so we will be without a riding pony for H this summer and I will certainly miss driving Bunny and Crystal.
At least we still have Honeybee and Bumblebee, our two littl’uns to ‘play’ with. Maybe it is time to seriously look for a larger ride n drive pony that needs a loving home?…x