Welsh Witterings 10: March 2014
We have officially entered spring and the warm sunshine of last week has vanished, it’s wet, windy and cold again. It seems that woolly jumpers and mugs of hot soup are the order of the day. I predict I will be getting wet this week as whatever the weather this week there are outside chores that have to be done. I need to fence Dewdrop’s field off ready for her new friend coming in a few weeks’ time and I need to sort out the remaining vegetable beds, well at least the rain makes the earth easy to dig.
The new chicken coop is ready for hens and after reading various poultry magazines I have decided on a few Lavender Araucana hens. These pretty birds originate from the old Arauca region between Northern Chile and Southern Peru, in the ancestral home of the Incas. After years of rescuing ex-battery hens I have decided that I want some rare breed poultry and the Araucana’s are very distinctive in terms of looks and in producing beautiful pale blue eggs. I have two other coops to repair and paint this week; one will house a pair of rare Dutch Brabanter hens. This breed are prolific layers of large white eggs and a beautiful looking bird in my opinion and my third coop will be dedicated to some Dorking chickens which are a quiet natured bird that lay big white eggs. This is a breed of chicken that has a long history; it is believed to have originated in Italy during the period of the Roman Empire under the reign of Julius Caesar and was introduced to Britain in AD47. This large, stately looking bird appeared in the very first British poultry show in 1845 and has been long prized for its lovely appearance and soft plumage. So this weekend will be a weekend spent admiring chicken’s as I travel to South Wales to see two rare breed poultry specialists, yes, I think I have become a fowl fancier.
This week has been mainly about laying plans for the next few months; I have lots of plans for the garden including a wormery. Charles Darwin called earthworms ‘the intestines of the soil’. Worms are fascinating and can eat up to seventy-five per cent of their own body weight every day, turning waste into rich and fertile compost, this to me is a great non-toxic and budget friendly way of getting fertiliser. Worm composting, or vermiculture, as it is known is a fun and easy way to introduce my girls to gardening and the environment as they can help to build and care for the wormery. I am hoping Hattie and Libby will love the wormery as they are always so enthusiastic when they find a ‘wiggly wriggler’ in the garden.
Talking of garden helpers, after years of reading up on beekeeping I am starting a course in April, so no doubt the end of this year will see the installation of a few beehives at the bottom of my garden, which will fit in wonderfully with my plans for a wild flower area at the bottom of the veg patch.
So an interesting week lies ahead of me, full of outside chores, an agricultural auction and fowl fancying at the weekend. I am looking forward to breathing some life into the gardens and outbuildings in the next few months and I shall try to resist the temptation of a goat for a little while longer.
Well until next week.
Da bo ti (good bye)