Sunday, 1 September 2019

Sunflowers


Sunflowers on the HenSafe Smallholding
I usually plant giant sunflowers on the veg plot to accompany the runner beans and French beans, and to add a colour splash. The added bonus is that the dead flower heads attract sparrows and other small birds to feast on the seeds. Win-Win. Composting them is another matter. If you do this, you'll need to cut the stems up quite small so they rot at the same rate as the rest of your compost - and you will need a sturdy cutter and strong hands!



Learnings:
On an exposed veg plot you may need to stake your giant sunflowers. If you tie them to your runner bean poles and the wind catches them, you will be in danger of losing the lot!
 


Thursday, 22 August 2019

Nest Eggs!

Nest Eggs! photo
Last week we had some new girls move in with our current flock. They’re settling in well but haven’t quite worked out where to lay their eggs yet. Went out this morning to collect and found this lovely little pile of beauties waiting for me!
Hensafe Chickens
They’re scratching around and getting used to their new surroundings, but we still need to make sure they are in the coop at dusk before shutting the door. They need a bit of extra help to find the pop hole and to deal with the pecking order.



Learnings:

  • The best time to introduce new hens is in the evening. When your flock has gone to roost, introduce the new girls into the coop while they are all drowsy. If you keep doing this each night, until the new ones know where the coop is, they will all merge together as one happy group. 
  • If you have trouble with the pecking order, and the older birds won't let the new ones into the coop, try shutting the coop door and introducing the new girls through the nest box lid.
  • Young chickens will not naturally lay eggs in the coop - you'll need to search out the eggs in the undergrowth! They will learn eventually...


Sunday, 14 July 2019

Comma Butterfly and an Afternoon Stroll

Comma Butterfly photo
A stroll on a local beauty spot yielded a whole host of bugs and butterflies to admire and capture on camera. This Comma feeding on some comfrey was one of many. 
Absolutely beautiful, and look at that gorgeous furry body...
 
Learnings:
Take time to be still on a country walk, and just observe. There’s so much out there to discover if you’re quiet enough and patient enough to wait.

Friday, 14 June 2019

A Summer Walk

Beautiful day for a lunchtime stroll and we came upon this lovely damsel fly by our local river. Not sure what species it is, do you?
Damsel Fly Summer Walk

Friday, 22 March 2019

The First Rhubarb


Some beautifully tender stems of rhubarb from the veg plot today. They'll go in a puff pastry pie to share with friends tonight.
Rhubarb on the #HenSafe smallholding


Saturday, 23 February 2019

Cheeky Sparrows


A quick weekend break away saw us in North Wales where a whole host of sparrows were outside our window feasting on the bird seed we put out. Managed to capture this one with the camera in between him diving down for the food!
Sparrow Photo