This afternoon, I walked down to the allotment weighed down with some seed potatoes, onions and other odds and ends for the new growing season. It was increasingly misty, with the BT building behind the site a shadow rather than the looming landmark it usually is. As all the chickens had enough food and water already, I decided to put the stove on and enjoy the warmth.
When the stove was going properly, I threw in another log and walked up to check on Gordon and his gang. They were all at the run door waiting for me. I checked around the back of the best box and found a little sparrow had got caught in the rat trap. I lifted the trap up and put it on the top of the nest box to have a good look at him. He was flying around rather frantically but he seemed to be unhurt which was a relief.
A sudden thud on the other side of the roof startled me. I looked up to see an equally startled Bertie. Clearly, he had heard the sparrow and had jumped up to have a tasty afternoon snack. His immediate reaction was to jump back down and hide behind the run. As I released the sparrow, I could see him peering at me from behind the plant pot next to the run. I apologised to him but my apology was definitely not accepted as he stalked off up the path towards the front of the site. Slightly miffed, I checked on Tommy and the others as I walked back to the shed. Maybe Bertie will be more friendly another day when I don’t deprive him of some prey?
As the mist continued to roll in, I began to sort through my newly bought seeds. Wilkinson’s has finally stocked up on potatoes so I seized the opportunity to get a bag each of Charlotte and Nicola. I was.hoping for Vivaldi but I may have to go elsewhere for them. I also snaffled a bag of onions and some garlic. Typically they were out of Elephant Garlic – I have no idea what it is but I am quite taken by the name! Several other packets of sweet bell peppers and a range of chillies too. My husband had requested these although specific varieties were not identified so, as per usual in these situations, I went for the seeds with the nest names. I have absolutely no idea how hot these chillies will be but I loved the name Hotscotch!
By now, it was getting really rather cold, even with the stove on. I waited until it was out before shutting up the shed and scuttling home. My first job, after turning on the heating, was to put out the seed potatoes in egg boxes to allow them to sprout. I left them on the dining room windowsill where they will get some sunshine and not get too hot or cold. Over the next couple of weeks, I will check them regularly and try to plant them on time this year!
So the plan for the next couple of days is to fully clean out the Nest House, dig over the New Coop and source some bags of compost ready to start off the seeds in the greenhouse!