Phew, well that was a flurry. Now back to work!

Thank you so much for all your input over the last two days.  The images we have all selected have been sent over to the tech team, for the last review and some work.  Then  when they come back, I will let you know the final line up.

Your names have been printed and folded into individual parcels  and on the weekend TonTon will do the draw -selecting three winners. So stand by.   I know this photo is not in focus, in the very low light of the barn, but I could not resist.  Houdini’s chickens on the beam. 

And now back outside and back to work! The Cold Frame is holding up well and even with these below freezing nights the cabbages  and lettuce are growing quite happily in here.   I am told that this weekend the temperatures are going to plummet so we will see how much cold it will repel.  These are easy to build and extend your growing period considerably, this one has an old screen door from the junk yard as a lid. It is hinged so it can be opened for day time warmth (when the warmth comes again).  In this one is cabbage and lettuce. I am so desperate for some fresh lettuce, my indoor lettuce is being very slow. Stalkers garden is the first to be planted, so out come the bags of leaf mold that have been sitting cogitating for a few years.   In the autumn, town people leave their bags of leaves  out for us and we drive the truck down the alleys picking them up, poke a few holes in them, pile them in the Rathouse and forget about them.  Two years is best.  Sometimes I give them to the chickens to shred then they go on a compost heap.  In a month or so they will be dug in. Leaf mold is great compost for the gardens or it can be used as a mulch and is excellent for holding moisture in the raised beds.

Below you will see one of the rain water barrels. These were old detergent barrels we found in a dump area behind an old workshop.  Every roof guttering runs into its own water barrel in a garden or water trough for the animals. We are going into the spring after a very dry winter so we need to collect all the water we can.  These water barrels have had the tops cut off and returned as lids.  There is  mosquito screen in the lid to prevent larvae from breeding in the water. This one is such a bright blue plastic that I grow tall plants around it to hide it!!  Most of them are black.

Day before yesterday when I cleared out the bays in the barn I threw some old dirty straw onto the Corridor Paddock, it desperately needs building up. Then I let the manure spreaders out to kick it all about!  I guess someone has set himself up as the inspector.  Checking our work. The wind has changed this morning. I can hear it howling from the loft.   A change in the weather is coming. Yesterday’s sun was so welcome but today has dawned cloudy again.  We are at the high for today already (just above freezing) then we are going down to 6F (-14) by tonight with a few snow showers.  So I guess winter is back to nudge its big nose at us again.

Today is shopping day. Well you know how I feel about that! So off I go to the city with The Matriarch to stock up.  I have to Dress and Do my hair and everything! (sigh) No wearing clown pants and stuffing my hair into a pompom hattie all day.

But first I shall rug up and see to the animals and the outside chores then visit my old people with their eggs.  Soon we will be starting all their vegetable gardens too.

Good morning!



83 Comments on “Phew, well that was a flurry. Now back to work!

  1. Enjoy your trip into the Big City! It’s lovely to have a peek at farm life on the other side of the world and the labours and preparations that you’re undertaking for each new season. I wish I was that well organised in my own life. 🙂

  2. Great photo of the supervisor. Wonderful light, Celi. You are making me think I ought to get some lumber and build some planters. Think I’ll visit the throw-away pile at the local lumber yard. They’ve already given me enough nails to build a house…all because they were dropped on the floor in the store. Yay!

  3. It seems that will be so exciting… You are so creative and amazing dear Cecilia. I loved your photographs again, especially the inspector! Amazing. Thank you, have a nice weekend, with my love, nia

  4. That Cold Frame is a great idea and I hope everything survives Winter’s return this weekend. We’re under a storm watch. They’re calling for 6 inches of lake effect snow by tomorrow morning. You’re probably too far south for it and there’s no way of knowing beforehand whether we’ll be lucky enough to get the full effect or just a passing flurry. I, too, need to run a few errands and had better get them done early. Have a great day, Celi, and stay warm!

    • Well I have been and i am back and we have snow now too, but it is more blowing that snowing, but you will get to use your snowblower in the morning!! c

  5. Oh Dog! I knew leaves made great fertilizer, but I had no idea that keeping them like that was so beneficial. I learn something new here all the time!

    • Thank you, though remember to gather leaves with no dog doo doos in them, then the bags are not quite as sweet smelling as expected! c

  6. I have arrived in Bagni di Lucca to a freezing wind. I have to brace myself to go to do some shopping. It is colder here than Heksinki!!!!

  7. Where were you a year ago when we were remodeling and tossed an old storm door out and hauled it to the recycling center? It would have made an excellent cold frame. You are inspiring me to expand my garden beyond tomato plants in pots and a row of lettuce.

    Whew, I’m so glad all of your rain barrels are not that vivid blue. Our recycling containers (for newspaper, cardboard, cans, bottles, etc.) are that horrible color and with bright yellow lids. What was the county thinking when they chose that color? Horrid.

    Finally, that image of the Inspector has spectacular lighting.

    • You threw stuff out! Oh NO!! maybe this year as a treat you could grow potatoes, they are so simple to grow and DIVINE to eat! c

  8. P is working from home today. We had more snow last night. About 3cm, which is ample to cripple all the transport networks in the area. No trains running earlier today. For a country that loves talking about weather, it sure doesn’t know how to cope with it.

  9. I was just recommending a bit rain barrel to one of my clients (just bought a house) and the property inspector and buyer looked at me as though I was deranged. This is such a great way to preserve rain water! I love your cold frame, I will be watching to see if it survives -14… we have had such a warm winter, I think I could grow a few bits of lettuce here! Love the sliding window/screen idea!!

    • Yes the cold frame is working well, and why would anyone NOT want a rain barrel, it keeps water at a perfect temp for watering your pots in the summer.. and a cup of tea from filtered rain water is fantastic, and rinsing your hair!! oh the list is endless.. c

      • I hadn’t thought of tea… and hair rinsing.. I’m going to pick up one of these this spring. All I need is the screen to keep mosquitoes, etc out??

  10. Cold frames are such a great way to deal with winter’s effects on vegetable growing. I know you will enjoy the fresh tender greens.

    • I am so looking forward to them, we do not bother buying lettuce way out here it has travelled so far that i am sure it has no nutritional value whatsoever.. just a limp crunch, eeoo.. c

  11. Ooh, the Supervisor sitting on his perch, whilst inspecting the farm…love it.

    C, I’ve nominated you for the ABC award…I love visiting your farm and I think others will too!

  12. Phew is a word that always makes me laugh – phonetically it suggests another exclamation! The French have a habit of saying “punaise” instead of “putain” and “mince” instead of “merdre” – so very phewing similar I suppose.

    • When first here, I was very upset to hear a 10 year old boy call his little sister ‘putain’. I’ve used ‘mince’ myself, but had no idea it was a euphemism for merde! La vache will have to be abandoned as a swearu word now that I’ve met Daisy!

  13. Sounds like you have spring fever. The cold frame is such a good idea. My grandmother has one or two every year and they are very successful. One question about the leaf compost- do the leaves break down over the winter? And are they really dusty when you shake them out. It is a great idea. I am curious about this concept.

    • If the leaves are a little moist when you bag them, (do it on a dewy morning,) then they are not that dusty! they also break down faster if you mow over them a few times to shred them up.. then you can use them sooner.. c

  14. Sooo, were the plants in the cold frame that are growing there now planted inside, allowed to germinate and then put outside? I’m worried they will freeze in the cold weather you have coming. We have seeds germinating in our garage bay, keeping them warm with a small heater. It’s going to get cold here too in the next couple days. Brrrrrrrrrr………!!!

    • We do both, there are cabbages in their littel pots out there, plus lettuse straight into the ground, and yes we are getting colder and the wind is howling, snow blowing.. thank goodness Mama is not close to birthing, it is a typical night for that kind of thing.. c

  15. If you can get your hands on some clean straw, pile it into the cold frame for extra insulation…your little pretties should be fine.
    We are about to be caught between two storms – the Arctic front that’s bearing down on you, plus another coming up the coast. Could be tons of “fun” by tomorrow afternoon!

  16. I always see the bags of leaves piled up in town (and not a few on some country roads as well) but I have been timid to just stop and pile them into the back of my truck. However, you may have given me a bit of courage to do so next fall! I have two long bins here that we made of landscape timbers stacked like Lincoln logs for making leaf mould. But hey, you can never have enough leaf mould now can you? Loved your photos of the cats today!

    • That is the best.. to just pile them all up and John has no qualms, people have put them out for collection he says!! c

  17. What a gorgeous shot of your “Inspector” with that beautiful light. I wish I had just one tenth of your sun for my little garden. We are surrounded by 100 foot pines and I don’t like to cut trees for any reason. Happy shopping!

  18. Mornin’
    Love the photo of the Supervisor. He is very diligent.
    Once again you’ve given me inspiration, hubby and I were just discussing what to do with some old windows that were left in the basement of our house (100 year old Victorian), and now I know. . .COLD FRAMES.
    I’ve also been considering upcycling some soap barrels from our local car wash to use as rain barrels, but I worry about to sanitize them to remove any residue?
    Enjoy your shopping.

    • JOhn just cleaned them out with hot water and a good scrub, he has a power washer too, but so does the car wash, maybe you can use that to clean them, reusing them is a good idea!! c

  19. Hi C!
    Sorry I missed yesterday post (and my opportunity to win one of those marvelous post cards). Congratulations on the 40000, that’s a huge number, another proof of your talent.

  20. Great to see the garden progress. I love your raised beds, but nowadays with my ‘orrible back, ours would need to be waist high! We made a cold frame from old windows chucked out of the local chateau – very posh, if you ignore the rot.. As for rainwater collection, we have a 100 litre container at one side, and all the house roof water drains into a 3000 litre underground converted septic tank, and we have never yet run out. When down to the last few inches, we always seem to get a downpour.

    • My back solution is to raise the beds three logs high; nice deep soil for those extra long parsnips and carrots. Also add long handles to all your implements.
      We depend on rainwater for our domestic water supply, (2) 50,000 litre rainwater tanks (the closest town water is 18km away) as well as a small dam for irrigating the fruit trees and vegetable garden.
      I agree with Miss C rain water tastes much better.
      I always filter the water through a 5 micron filter; once the water temp warms up in summer it starts growing pathogens which boiling the water for tea doesn’t eliminate.

  21. I agree also, a nice shot of the inspector. My Dad always had cold frames. I should make some too and get rain barrels.

  22. I love those rainwater barrels: and that you found them where you did and put them to good use. And the Inspector….what can I say….

    • yes, Mary’s Cat the Inspector, he follows me everywhere, and has a knack for being in front of the camera, if i lean too close and he is up a ladder he will literally step straight out onto my head.. he loves the pompom hattie! c

  23. Your leaf mould sounds perfect, I get a bit impatient and use it with 6-12 months, but then I also struggle for storage space, so I’m picturing yours as lovely crumbly fine textured, ready to give the beds a good hit of nourishment and goodness

  24. Lovely kitty cat picture. He posed beautifully.
    Did I spy guinea fowl in the background of your water barrel shots? I haven’t noticed them before in your posts. Such funny creatures, they always intrigue me, do you eat them?… and if they weren’t guinea fowl and instead guinea fowl looking rocks… cool!

  25. Lovely post. Really enjoyed it. Fab photos. Have a great weekend.
    Regards Florence x

  26. Whew. What a busy day! Really liked the 3 chickens on the beam. (glad the feather guys are willing to help spread the hay around) Spring lettuce always seem to take so long to grow! (maybe it’s because I tend to watch it so much ….but it’s green hunger!)

  27. Those plummeting temperatures don’t sound too good. I have never been in anything as cold as -14C. And it’s going to get colder? Maybe if temperatures are plummeting where you are they will rise where I am? We’re still waiting for summer. I will never tire of seeing photos of your farm!

    • Morning Charlie, You are in Aussie if I remember rightly? Our home towns have been having a rubbish summer as well! maybe you will get a fantastic autumn! c

  28. Just look at those chickens.. they have grown so darn much. And they are just so cute. And just look at him inspecting everything.. making sure you was doing everything right I presume lol.

  29. I hope you had a great shopping day…I wouldn’t want to walk away from your lovely place! You have a lot of responsibility to keep everything in balance with the bleak winter temperatures, but you appear to do it so well! I’m impressed…and inspired. Debra

    • This is true, having animals means having a lot of dependents, any farmer is charged with the task of tending to the well being of his animals.. ours are pretty spoilt i think.. c

  30. Would it sound bad or be bad if I said I’m a little jealous? Like seriously – I want to live on a farm!!! I want to grow my own chickens *pouts* You are so lucky!

    And those subjects in the photos are too cute!

  31. Mary’s cat looks so very splendid in his self-appointed office of King of the Cat-sle. I’d love to do a cold frame (or better yet, a greenhouse) out back, but that will have to wait until after I can afford the main bathroom reno and the general garden overhaul. Still, it tempts me to go on a little, erm, local exploration to see if I can’t find some temporary fixes just ‘lying about’ in the meanwhile. One lives in hope! I’ve been keeping my eye out for rain barrels for some time, but everybody around here is so desperate for water there’s nobody local who’s crazy enough to let go of good rain barrel material, so I’ll likely just have to suck it up and invest in them.

  32. My parents had three huge compost bins that they rotated through. One was to use that year, one was ruminating for next year, one was for two years from now. They had a cold frame, too, and two rain barrels that NEEDED mesh over them because they got the mosquitoes. I think I need to blog about all this come spring time! It’s making me think of all sorts of memories!!!

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