Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Questions For a Seed Potato Producer

This is a collaborative post

Okay this post is me being a proper geeky farmers son! It's a long post but I think it's really interesting one!

I'm always fascinated in how other farms run and when putting yesterdays post together with Potato House I had so many questions about how they operate, I thought it would be great to do a short questions and answer post. I asked Amy from Potato House the following questions and loved the answers:-

Why is Scotland known for producing seed potatoes? 
Our slightly cooler climate makes it easier to grow healthy seed free from aphid-transmitted diseases. In addition, our farm is at 150 m (500ft) above sea level so it is slightly cooler and better suited for organic seed production. Scotland has long been the supplier of seed potatoes for most potato production across the UK. Scotland also exports seed potatoes to many destinations notably Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, but also the Far East and South America.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Still Time To Plant Potatoes!

This is a collaborative  post

In gardening we are governed by many myths and old wife's tales. Just the other day I was putting in some potatoes and someone said to me that I should have put them in on Good Friday. Now despite the fact that Good Friday moves every year, I can also say that there is no way commercial potato farmers follow these rules - and they get some pretty impressive crops. 


So there is still plenty of time to put in potatoes! 

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Another Corner Controlled In The Garden!!!

My garden beds are looking pretty tidy, with only a few left to seriously weed out before planting. 


But there are some big areas of my veg garden that still need a lot of work. This bottom corner is one of them. This area used to be really wet until we drained the field around it, so while it was wet I put in some raised beds (2015 can you believe!). This worked a little bit but in the end they got neglected and the nettles have claimed them as their own.

So now seems the ideal time to take back control and gain a bit more growing space.


Some serious digging and pulling went into clearing this area! I had three barrows full of nettle and dock roots by the end. But with a little path down it I've now gained two more 10ft beds to grow some veggies on.


This is great news as I'm already running out of space and trying to figure out where things could go!

Have you tackled a neglected garden area lately? How did you do it? Plain elbow grease or a better way? Wish I could have got the digger in here to deal with this instead of my spade!

Friday, 24 April 2020

Using Up Leeks

 So the leeks are starting to run to seed and we still have a few in the beds that had them in.


So I'm keen to make sure we don't waste too many! 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Duck Eggs In The Incubator

Using the incubator again! 

The last hatch a friend did at his house. He had runner ducks in there and I had Muscovy in as well. Unfortunately none of my dozen eggs hatched, luckily some of his did so it wasn't a complete failure (for him at least).


So this time I've gone for Aylesbury ducks. I'm hopeful that having some meat ducks will help vary what we produce a bit and if we keep some for breeding we should have some duck eggs.

Monday, 20 April 2020

New Bits Of Growing Space

Every year I struggle to fit certain plants into my garden and struggle for space but this year seems worse already.


I guess I've gone a bit mad with my planting and I have certainly increased the numbers somewhat with each plant to try to sustain us more.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

The Garden In April

I've never spent so much time in the garden in April before. 

This was just as a much needed rain storm broke

The lock down coupled with the glorious weather has meant I'm on top of it all for once! Well in the veg garden at least... Everywhere else still looks a mess!

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Messing About With Small Scale Grains - Again

I think if you take how well I did at this last year this should go into the "why do I bother" pile. But like it or not grains are a huge stumbling block to self-sufficiency, or mine at least.


They provide a large proportion of my calories each day. Either through the porridge I eat daily for breakfast (oats) or the bread I eat for lunch (wheat) or the feed I give to my animals to help provide our protein with meat or eggs.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Kentucky Wonder?

Every year I try out different varieties of french beans.


They're one of my favourite veg to grow and a dead easy one to save seed from.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Seed Saving Leeks

Every year I try to save more and more seed of different varieties for veg.


This is for a few different reasons.

Friday, 10 April 2020

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Outdoor Cooking With Scouts

This is from a few weeks ago, before the close down on social gatherings due to Corona Virus. 


It was my week to plan it and I'd said a while ago I fancied doing outdoor cooking.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Coppiced Bean Poles

With the lock down it's good to have some materials that are grown on site. 


A few weeks ago I harvested my bean poles and pea sticks from a stand of hazel we have in the bottom of the garden.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Polytunnel Doors

So I've made new doors for the polytunnel. 

These are simply made from 3x2 treated timber with some big heavy duty hinges I got from a job a few years ago.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Mice Keep Eating My Peas!

My greenhouses are bursting at the seams at the moment.
Cucumbers just starting to poke their heads up.
 I've gone a bit plant crazy. A lot of it is for seed saving and to bulk up the amount of seed we have stored so we could grow good quantities should we need to next year.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Very Wet Scout Walk & A Troll!

Four Mondays ago, before all this mess, we took our group of Beavers, young scouts between the age of 6 and 8, for a walk to the top of one of the local hills. 


The weather was horrendous. Perfect for a Scout walk in my mind. I always think its pointless if you go when you would on a family walk anyway.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Chestnut Fencing

I wrote this post before the lock down and went to get the posts before it as well! 

I've been planning on doing some fencing for a while now.


The area I want to tackle is around the polytunnel. I've been warned that rabbits do like to get through the plastic and so it's best to fence around it.

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