Some days you don't get much done.
Other days it just rocks.
Today it rocked.
It started with a haircut.
It's always good to start the day with a haircut.
My wife has cut my hair ever since we were married. I've always been a short haired terrier so it's not a big job and we must have saved a ton of cash over the years.
I have offered to cut hers but after a couple of hair raising attempts she has passed up on my kind offer since.
Hair suitably shortened I hit the coach house. This has been our 'storage room' since we moved here nearly 20 years ago. We've had a couple of partial clearouts along the way but now it's reached tipping point - I can't get in there.
I've got plans for the coach house so I really want to get it cleared out. I recently got my amateur radio foundation licence so I'm hoping to set up my little radio shack there - once I can get in.
All sorts of stuff, stuff, stuff has been dumped in there - old toys, VHS videos, a spare shower, broken printers, picnic sets, wellingtons that don't fit, books that were never read, gifts that weren't wanted and even a Doctor Who Tardis wardrobe.
We made a start and filled the car with a first load for the local recycling centre. I only managed one run there today as they close early on a Sunday.
That place always amazes me. People throw out so much that looks like it still has a good life.
That's a problem for me. Taking junk to the recycling centre always means I find some good things to bring back.
Today it was 8 nearly new ceramic pots - not a scratch on them.
In the past I've 'scored' carpets, antique chairs, egg boxes, wood... There's always something worth having there. And you just take what you want for free 😊
After the clearing in the coach house it was on to the cleaning out the chicken coops. Along with the ducks, geese and rabbits we have seven places on the cleaning roster at present. Luckily my youngest 'volunteered' to help me so it only took an hour or so.
We currently buy bales of wood shavings for bedding but I often find various contaminants in there so I'm not convinced about its origin.
I would love to find some sort of bedding material from the homestead but we don't grow any cereal for straw nor cut any hay fields. I have heard dried bracken can be used but we don't have much of that now. Suggestions welcome!
Our motley housing collection dates back to our very first coop that is now 15 years old. It's now rather the worse for wear but some of the hens still chose to use it.
Time and funds permitting I'm hoping to build some new houses for them before the winter.
After clearing the poop from the coop it was on to the daily harvest.
As well as four beds of potatoes this year I had a few overflow potatoes in 30 litre tubs. I've seen various YouTube gardeners get massive yields from tubs but I don't have the same success. I only got about 3kg out of the four tubs. Now I have more growing space I'll give up on the tubs next year.
As well as the spuds we are still going strong on cabbage, lettuce, French beans, carrots, onions, peas and of course courgettes (zucchini).
You can never have too many courgettes 😉
My wife has been scouring the internet for exciting new ways to use courgettes. One of the best ones so far has been a sort of courgette and parmesan crisp.
We've also recently got a dehydrator and we have been experimenting with drying the courgettes in that.
It works well - it's even got our daughters to eat a few more courgettes.
I've really been keen on succession planting this year to extend our growing and harvest season. With a few more raised beds and the polytunnel coming on stream I've been able to start on second crops and autumn/winter crops.
I got in more sprouts, cauliflowers and broccoli a couple of weeks back. Also another sowing of carrots and lettuce. I had one mainly empty bed available just in front of the old greenhouse so I popped in some more carrots and turnips this afternoon.
Even though that bed has been largely empty for a while there has been very little weed growth.
I am bit worried about a suspect batch of compost on that bed so I used some of my new super compost that I got recently to trench and cover the seeds.
The compost is Martin's TLC and it's excellent.
It's made from coir, horse manure and worms by a local chap who runs his own little compost business. I met him recently and it was really good to hear the story of how the compost is made.
Like the wood shavings I am always anxious about bringing compost of unknown origin on to the homestead. So it is ideal for me to use this local compost until we can produce enough ourselves. And it's good to buy local and eat who you know and all that.
The only job on today's list that I didn't manage was to finish filling the new greenhouse. That's one for tomorrow now.
But it was a good day of work, nicely rounded off with an evening meal of homemade pizza and salad and vegetables from the garden.
Tomorrow we're pruning.
[all images taken by @pennsif]
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