Chickens and Foraging

I rolled up to the allotment this afternoon to find Cliff sitting on the main path enjoying the sunshine. Grabbing a drink, I joined him as we discussed what has been happening on site over the last few days. It’s always fun to sit and chat with the guys at the allotment as we put the world to rights. After a while, Darren joined us. He was partway through spraying the car park with weed killer. Over the past year or so, the car park has got quite overgrown and it definitely needs some work. We all agreed a working party would be able to restore it within a few hours. Darren also had a few good ideas about improvements for the site which we encouraged him to share at the next committee meeting.

On Darren’s recommendation, we all walked up to see Railway Steve who apparently knew the best weedkiller to get. It was lovely to meet someone new as we often just stay at our end of the site and rarely meet others at the other end. Armed with the information, Darren went off to his van and off and I walked around the plot, checking if anything else needs sorting.

As we circled around by Liz and Sarah’s plots, I started to sort out the chickens. Every food bowl and water feeder needed refilling as usual, their appetite really increases in the summer months. Treats distributed and all feeders refilled, I collected eleven eggs including three from the Omlet. It’s the first time in weeks that all the bantam girls are laying after moulting. I briefly let the girls out and much to my amusement, Trixy followed me all over the plot. It was like having a little feathery shadow! Everywhere I went, she followed. It was only when I returned with a handful of kale that she stopped following me, stuffing her beak instead!

Packing up the shed, I walked home, dropped off the eggs and dug around the cupboards for a large Tupperware. Seizing the largest one I could find, I ambled off on a walk towards the railway line. A couple of weeks ago, I spotted a path lined with brambles that looked like they would be ready soon. Armed with my Tupperware, I slowly worked my way up one side of the path until the brambles ran out and then walked back down the other side . With my box full and stained fingers, I lugged it home where I spent the next half an hour washing and prepping the berries for freezing. Once they are all frozen, I can keep them for apple and blackberry crumble over the winter. There’s nothing like a taste of summer in the depth of winter.

So the plan tomorrow is to get down early and clean out the big coops and clear the weeds from the fruit section. If there’s time, I will harvest the remaining potatoes that have self seeded.

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