Finally, after weeks and months of relentless rain, we have had a couple of dry days back to back. The wind has helped dry the soil surface and the lack of rain has also meant the pools of water have drained away. Upon my arrival, I was fairly certain it would still be way too wet to dig so I busied myself with feeding the chickens.
Leia and Rey have been laying eggs fit to bust – 6 eggs, three apiece, over three days puts our other girls to shame. Leia has even been laying double yokers intermittently which is common for chickens as they first begin to lay. As we have usually had older chickens, we haven’t had many of these before so it’s rather exciting!
Down in the main coop, all the girls seem happy and content. This rather contrasts with everywhere else at the moment. But it serves as a reminder that even in the darkest times, there is always some good to be found. Snap was busy enjoying a dust bath whilst Dolly and Molly took a nap in the sunshine. Katie made her usual bid for freedom, nearly decapitating herself as she ducked underneath the coop door as it was closing. Useless bird! I managed to arrived just in time to watch Hattie lay an egg. In all the years we have had chickens, I have never managed to catch one of our girls actually at the point of lay. Hattie wasn’t too impressed with an audience during this time! The egg was so warm when I picked it up and put it with the other two I had collected from the other nest box.
I popped up to the clubhouse to find several people enjoying a chat over a cup of tea. Steve, Will, Mick the Greek, Ken and Andy were all there discussing the current coronavirus situation. The general consensus is that life should carry on as normal and no one should panic if they take sensible precautions. There is always so much common sense to be found down the allotment, it’s a tonic for all of the hysteria and chaos surrounding life at the moment. I disappeared off after a while to assess how many more days or weeks it would need to be dry before I could dig over the plot.
To my amazement, large sections of the plot were not only dry enough to stand on without sinking past the top of your wellies but dry enough to dig over with reasonable ease! I immediately grabbed my fork and made a start. After weeks of waiting for the soil to be dry, there was no way I was going to miss my chance! After about an hour of digging, my husband came to join me. Between us, we managed to dig over half the plot. The bottom half still has several sections that are boggy but we hope that they will continue to dry out today so we can dig the rest over tomorrow! It’s such a relief to have made a start on the allotment finally – I was beginning to loose hope that we would manage to do anything this spring!
Newly inspired with hope, I have decided to use my days off over the next few weeks to re-paint the shed and the coop, set up the new chicks in the greenhouse, plant lots of seeds and generally make sure we have a steady supply of fresh produce over the summer. Yet again, allotments may save the day just like they did in WW2.
Armed with two boxes of eggs, we went home for a well deserved lunch – today’s eggs, bacon and cheese to make a perfect and delicious omelette!