Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

A poem to read your kids in spring

We’ve been reading poems to our kids at bedtime for a while. Every now and again we try to add one. This season being spring, we’ve added Wordsworth’s I wandered lonely as a cloud. I get my Wordsworth from:

Poets being the bleak bastards that they are, winter is a much easier season to find poetry for. We do Frost’s stopping by woods on a snowy evening, Teasdale’s winter stars, and Hardy’s Darkling thrush. But with the weather warming up its nice to add something a bit brighter to the mix.

Broad bean and broccoli progress


The broad beans actually have beans on them! This is the prize bean, a whopper in miss 4’s lexicon.

The broccoli is coming along too:


I don’t think we’re growing it at the right time of year, but we’ll see how it goes.

Spring update 1


Alpine strawberries are fruiting already!


Last year’s self seeded grape has bounced back


Berries (Loganberry?) are flowering


Last year’s bean teepee was a flop: take 2 in a new position


Broad beans and purple beans in succession. We aim to use the purple beans as shade each year on the west side of the house. On the far left is mallow, a weed I’m cultivating to eat.

Exploding strawberries

The rain, sun, good soil and fertiliser have done amazing things for our strawberry plants:





Can’t wait till they start to ripen!

Broad bean flowers

Aren’t they cute? Once fully grown, these, chicken livers and a nice chianti will form the basis of a meal fit for a deranged cannibal.


Not tiny olives but…


FLOWERS! Even nicer – olive flowers seem to disappear even faster than cherry blossom so nice to catch these.

How things are in spring

A quick tour of the burbfarm in spring.

First, the rockery:  This will be our herb garden from now on, so…

…the old herb garden can become a strawberry patch!  We’re about halfway through the process. This bed will have marigolds too, for company.

Below, the garden veg we’re eating:  Rocket, and..

…snowpeas.  The rocket is nice a little wilted.  I put hot gnocchi over them, with our sun-dried tomatoes from last season, parmesan and vinaigrette.

Here is next season’s crop, in a cement house under clear plastic (bodge greenhouse).  Mainly tomatoes, but also some herbs.  Might have a grape too (yellow pot) but I’m not sure if (a) the seeds were even viable and (b) this is one and not a weed.

Here’s our most productive pen, and the one we’ve hatched from.

And here’s the robinia that will shade its run.  The leaves have just started emerging, which is an uplifting sight.

Our 8-week-old hatchlings, who I think look tastier by the day!

And these are our new additions, from our own chickens!  A mix of Rhode Island Red and RIR x wyandotte.  So cute, but I’ve had to put one down since this picture, making two so far, because of birth defects.


Spring beginnings

Every year at about this time when the weather starts to warm up again I get the irresistible urge to clean out the house and get into the garden.  I guess that is the general idea of spring cleaning — either that or seasonal affective disorder!

This year we have started to get seriously into the garden to make it what we want.  We’ve pulled out two trees, one because its leaves were horrifically spiky (I believe it was an Oregon grape) and the new space will make room for a vegetable garden bed.  The other had to go because it was a flax/grass tree that shed leaves everywhere, but they are they type that don’t break down so not even the green waste place will accept them, and it was getting so big it was unmanageable.  We’ve also gotten rid of about four trailer loads of grass and weeds.  We’ve started planting – so far lettuce, beetroot, basil, garlic, parsley, blueberries and strawberries.  Hopefully more to come!

The plan is to eventually fully utilize our nearly quarter acre block to provide as much of the food as possible to feed our family — ethically, sustainably and (obviously) locally.

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