This morning I ambled down to the allotment, enjoying the sunshine which has appeared from nowhere. Everyone had come down to their plots to make good use of the rare break in the weather. I had a quick chat with Geoff, Brad and Andy before heading down to the coop. I put Pop outside and settled her down in her favourite sunbathing spot with some food and water.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Sarah, Liz and Andy beavering away on their plot. Always of a sociable inclination, I went to say hello. Sarah had been busy being very creative, making a beautiful plaque to commemorate the building of their mammoth greenhouse. It’s absolutely stunning – I especially love the name of their greenhouse!
Leaving them to their jobs, I pottered back to the coop and fed the chickens. Geoff had dropped off some greens for them and they leapt on them with an appetite that would make you question whether they had ever been fed. I tried to tempt Pop but she couldn’t quite manage to eat straight from the large leaves. I ripped some off and left her to have a go in her own time. By now, it was quite hot. So out came the sail canopy! I haven’t used it since the central path and the beds have been in thanks to the ever appalling British weather. Seizing the opportunity, I got it up and enjoyed seeing the plot in all its glory. It’s hard to describe how satisfying it is to see your ideas transformed into reality. Usually, I find reality rarely lives up to my imagination however, our new plot design far exceeds it!
Down in the broody coop, Leia was enjoying time outside on the perch whilst the four cockerels explored around her. I dropped in some greens for them to play with and refilled their food bowl with chick crumb. All of the chicks are fully feathered now and their combs are growing quickly. I can’t believe they are 5 weeks already! Next week, I will arrange for the local farmer to pop down again to collect them. Leia will then move into the main coop. I am hoping that she will manage much better than last time, with the other girls more preoccupied with avoiding Tommy than bullying her. I guess we will see. I won’t deny I am a little nervous about whether Leia will integrate. I ambled home for lunch still pondering about how we will get Leia into the main coop.
At about eight o’clock, I walked back down to the allotment to put Pop back into the nest box. She really seems to benefit from spending time outside with the other girls. They don’t seem to pick on her or bother her in any way. She was in the corner of the coop when I arrived and I gently picked her up and checked her over. She had been to the toilet a couple of times and her rear end wasn’t as mucky as it has been. I think this is because she can now raise herself up and shuffle forward to keep herself from sitting in it. Back in the nest box, she had a long drink and settled down comfortably.
Taking advantage of the late light, I spent an hour weeding the plot. The mix of rain and sunshine has brought them all back with avengance. I removed the biggest weeds and will hoe the plot over tomorrow to get the rest of the smaller weeds. As it approached dusk, I decided it was probably time to go home. Each season has its own magic on the allotment and spending quiet summer evenings in the fresh air, surrounded by the wildlife and plants on site is one of my favourite things to do.