There’s very little going on in the nesting boxes at the moment. No doubt this is mostly down to the heat, although we also have an ageing flock with just a few young hens to keep up the yield. Twice this week we’ve opened up the lid to search among the warm straw to see not a single egg to collect. Coming back from the chicken coop with some freshly laid beauties is a ritual we never tire of, so when you’ve nothing to bring in to the kitchen, it can leave you feeling surprisingly hollow, I find. At least our Ixworths and Araucanas (the black birds pictured above with one of our white Ixworths) are pulling their weight the rest of the time. We scrambled their fine offerings this morning for a superb start to the day.
Our disappointing egg yields have been compensated for by the arrival of our latest toy. James has finally fulfilled a long-held ambition: becoming the proud owner of a Little Grey Fergie. Named the smallholders’ tractor when it was first made, the Ferguson TE-F 20 was created for working small parcels of land. This one was made in 1954 and has had just two previous owners and is in pretty good nick.
If we’re honest, it’s a slightly overblown piece of machinery for our modest plot of just over an acre but it’s a lovely thing to own in itself and we’re hoping it will hold its value. The plough attachment will come in handy for cultivating the old pig run, on which we’ve kept the animals for two years so needs to rest before we have more on it – we’ve plans to loosen up that well-fertilised soil and cart it up to our veg patch to work its magic on future sowings. This season, we’re growing a limited range of crops – potatoes, tomatoes, salad leaves and courgettes. Due to cracking on with renovating the house, we didn’t have the time to dig some larger beds earlier in the season as we’d hoped, so we’ve a ‘capsule’ collection of edibles on the go instead. How’s your growing season going?
Happy henkeeping all!