Monday, 7 April 2008

The Poor Daffy Ducks

Ah, the allotment.

Been up there this afternoon. It's so peaceful:o) Anyway, we managed to dig a couple of very mini plots over (one for us and one for Junior). We have what seems the equivalent of a football pitch left to dig but it all adds to the fun. Been told by one of the old grumpys that "A woman'll never do all that!!". Hmmmmm...we'll see matey boy!! We'll have to go back tomorrow and tweedle out any roots and then cover up with a light inhibiting cover until we're ready to plant. We've got 30 cabbage, caulifower, calebrese and sprout plantlings waiting for their new homes:O) So Junior and I will be passing wind for England come the end of the year:O) This week we have to suss out what else we want to plant and plan:o) Good little project for Junior. Going to show the grumpy old men on that site "Anything you can do, we can do better!!" We plan to construct a scarecrow, make bunting to keep the birds off and paint any shed we might end up with BRIGHT BLOODY PINK!!

We got snowed off, can you believe it? Went up at 3pm and got home for 8pm. Shall have to look on freecycle to see if any unwanted sheds and green houses are going. Apart from the storing factor they are pretty handy for teamaking. Get camping stove in, plus a few picnic chairs and you're sorted. Anyway, yesterday, Son no 1 said that he and his brother will tidy up the plot, put a fence up, built a compost bin......for my birthday. Son no 2 had no idea about this but now it's too late. LOL. I have been instructed tonight, via telephone, to collect all the pallets I can in preparation.

One of the plotholders keeps hens, ducks, geese, etc. The rats have been sorted, apparently. There's a fishing lake not far from here and the fishermen stamp on any duck eggs in the nests they find around there to keep the duck population down on their precious lake. Anyway, animal loving plot holder across from me went down and rescued all the eggs she could find, took them home and a few weeks later...voila....incy little ducklings. They are, however, wild birds so keep escaping out of the pen (they can fly as she won't clip their wings 'cos she thinks it's cruel). So, most evenings Mr & Mrs Daffy Duck go walkabout around the plots. This is all sweet.....until they take a shine to your plot and newly planted seedlings. You get the picture? Anyway, this evening they did just that and annoyed another allotmenteer who resorted to chucking stones at the loved-up pair. They are looking for a safe nesting spot apparently...bless.

So, back is aching. Junior has had her Radox soak and is tucking into pasta with tomato and onion sauce. Now 'tis my turn and then to bed:o) Am knackered..but, sshhhhh, don't tell The Grumpys!!!


dawny said...

sounds like a good knackered though :o)

Gill said...

Hiya Min! Catching up with some blog reading at last. Your digging & planting is inspiring - I'm definitely going to have to do some this year. Just waiting for one of my sons to do some building too! (A big planting box) How late is too late to plant seeds though? I think I'll probably be planting straight outside, so maybe I should wait a bit longer? (Hope so, cos we can't get the wood for another 2 weeks..)

Gill said...

PS, yes, poor ducks!

Minnie said...

Gill, about the rats on the allotment.

They were so cheeky!! Coming out at all times during the day, onto other plots, mating in public!! They virtually waved at anyone who saw them..."Coooeeeeee!!" sort of thing. lol The chickens, ducks and geese didn't seem to mind them, funnily enough. We have kept pet rats before and they're really clever and nice. Mimi and Fifi...used to love sitting on my shoulder, even when I was pottering around the house.

About when to plant...I think most things can go in April/May. There is a huge greenhouse on the site that we can all use, so I'll still all my stuff in there until I'm ready. I get stuff like courgette and pepper plants from the local plant fayre. The birds always nick my pea seeds when they're planted so I have to resort to dastardly measure to foil 'em. And the badgers around here are partial to sweetcorn, so I've been told. So I reckon if I plant loads there'll be enough for us all:o) I've planted woad and hope to get a Braveheart/Mel Gibson denim blue for dyeing from that.

Gill said...

'They virtually waved at anyone who saw them..."Coooeeeeee!!" '

O.M.G. I would have freaked and abandoned the plot forever! Am so hopelessly scared of them. Very silly of me. But there was a rat-hole chewed in one of our plastic bins in the field and now I won't go near it. And when there was one in the house...! Nightmare. I should maybe get some as pets. *Shudder*. Aversion therapy. *Shudder*. I keep forcing myself to look at the ones in pet shops in the hope that'll cure me. Not working so far.. :-(

Ahhh, badgers eat sweetcorn..? I was blaming the rabbits. Got badgers and foxes in our field as well as the rabbits. And we get hares too. Hmm. The veg doesn't stand a chance really, does it? LOL

Woad??! Got pics? I don't even know what it looks like! Oh wow. What are you planning to dye with it?

Minnie said...

Gill. This is the woad site.

Tereshina is a soaper, too. Think she's Brazilian by birth, married to an English bloke. Grows her stuff on an allotment somewhere in Brum.

I just want to grow the stuff to see if it works. It'd be nice to be able to make things to sell using a natural dye on the material instead of all these chemicals. Have to think ahead and get some sort of income going, what with all this single parent stuff going off...we being the lowest form of pond life and all that.

The badgers come out and feed on the sweetcorn when it's just ripe and ready. Lol. Gotta give em ten out of ten for sussing it:o) Plant the sweetcorn plants in blocks and put some sort of barrier up, like wire fencing, to fend them off.

I think raised beds might be your best bet. Could you maybe get a second hand polytunnel or get the boys to make one?