31 March 2007

the Allotment

Well we had a great day at the allotment today,we have been up there most of the day and came home about 6pm,the sun was shining it was lovely and warm and managed to get loads done.This Morning it was full of willow so Paul dug all of them out of the area where the raised beds are going and is planting the all around the perimeter of the chicken area for shelter and to make a willow hedge all the way around. This morning it was just a bare area then it was strimmed and cleared of stones etc,I put string lines all over where the paths are going to be and the 4 raised beds and the chicken run area,next the top soil! The top soil is in a mound and I mean a BIG mound in the far corner so this needed to be dug out and barrowed accross to the raised beds,meanwhile Paul made shuttering around the edge and the raised bed came together in no time,Tanya worked like a little trojan horse today it has to be said,digging painting wheel barrowing,clearing away...the metal container is now painted a lovely green colour and no longer looks like a rusty old thing but now looks like a shiny new thing!

Mum came up for a while and brought the VERY needed refreshment TEA! and crisps,did some digging and wheel barrowing thanks Mum...

View from the top of the allotment,4 raised beds and a massive bit at the bottom for the chickens measuring 25 feet by 17 feet! bigger than my house that...they better appreciate this! This will also be the view from our shed when it is built very soon,there is going to be a BBQ too and a pond for my Ducks,Jack informed us today that someone keeps nicking his chickens, he had 20 now he has 12,someone must be pinching them because if it was the fox there would be feathers somewhere but there isn't. So Mr Fox let's see if you out wit us because we are on to you in a big way!

So all in all a very productive day at the allotment...
More soon......

30 March 2007

Eggs Galore!

Look at these beautiful smooth perfectly formed greeny blue eggs! these are from a black Aracauna Hybrid chicken,and the other small white eggs are pot luck Batams,and one Frizzle. Tiny white eggs are lovely. The 4 eggs left in the incubator now are dark brown and are Rhode Island Reds.
My friend was kind enough to send them to me today,BIG HUG SARAH! so they are going to sit here pointed end down to settle and to reach room temperature. I will be putting them in the Incubator tomorrow or last thing tonight I think.
More soon

29 March 2007

Some of my favourite books ....

These 4 books are brilliant,the one at the right hand side bottom is my allotment bible and is telling me everything I need to know for when the allotment is up and running properly...and the Starting with chickens book is great too,very easy to understand for a beginner on everything chickeny!

28 March 2007

Incubation day 6

Well today is day 6 of the incubation of the Rhode Island Red chickens..The temperature has been constantly between 37.4 and 37.6oC and the humidity between 30% and 35%,I candled one egg last night and saw 'the red spider' inside the egg which indicates the egg is fertile and there is an embryo growing in there at now 6 days old. The 'red spider' is the chicken and the veins coming from it absorbing the yolk into the chickens body. *Can you see the tiny dark bit with veins coming away from it? that is the chicken emryo!

I will candle again at day 8 or 9 and update again on the blog....

More Soon


25 March 2007

Potting on and a dog...

Black Sunflowers.

I potted on 25 black sunflower seedlings today,also I potted on 10 single giant sunflowers,the single giant one's are seeds from last years sunflower,I dried the head out and took the seeds out and they came up a treat this year.They are now in the coldframe hardning off,after spending ages repairing the coldframe from all the wind it was in bits.

Single Giant Sunflowers. (about 3wks old)

these have done really well,god knows what I am doing with them all! looks like I will have to do a plant stall on the market.

Red Onions.

The first red Onion is coming through! there about 8 in this pot.


This is Sally coming to see why I was crouched down on the floor taking pictures of little black boxes with soil in!

I just had to take another photo of my miniture daffodil's in the window box,I love them...They go through snow,ice,frost,wind and still bob about with yellow faces not fazed by any weather that is thrown at them!

23 March 2007

Is this wrong?

I was having a look on the net and I came accross this!

To me I think this is wrong even though no chemicals are used and it doesnt harm the Hens or the chickens,it's just a gimmick to sell chicks that maybe people will buy because they are coloured and cute,but what do you do with a chick when it gets to a certain age and gets big?

Mmmm just thought I would post this as it did shock me slighlty.

what do you think?

Multi-coloured chicks for Easter

The dye comes off as the chicks grow new feathersA farm in the northern US state of Alaska has given Easter egg decoration a whole new meaning.
Triple D Farm and Hatchery, in Palmer, injects the eggs with dye to produce multi-coloured baby chicks.
Children visiting the farm in the run-up to Easter were met with more than 400 orange, red, green, purple, pink and blue chickens and ducks.
Farm owners insist the non-toxic dye is harmless and temporary, disappearing as the animals grow their new feathers.
"It's something we've done at Easter time for the last few years," Phyllis Burney, fiancee of owner Anthony Schmidt, told BBC News Online.
"It's mainly for the children. They are quite in awe when they come to the farm and see the multi-coloured chicks.
'Blue mother'
"One little boy came with his kindergarten last week and when he was asked how the chick became blue, said it was because it had a blue mother," said Ms Burney.
The dye, which the farm insists does not contain chemicals, is injected into ordinary chicken eggs a few weeks before Easter.
The baby chicks are not hurt, but provide a psychedelic spectacle when they hatch.
"The dye doesn't last much more than a couple of weeks, once the chicks' new feathers come through," said Ms Burney.
The farm, near the city of Anchorage, annually colours around 200 baby chickens and 200 baby ducks.

post comments below...

Day 1

This is day 1.

The 6 Eggs are in and steady temp of 37oc,turned 3 to 4 times a day more if I can,the temp and water is checked and charted by me or Tanya,she's really good at it,although she stands at the incubator saying 'oh why wont they hatch now'? and 'OMG I can't wait Mum'! so hopefully (pray to god) the 4 I think will hatch actually do!

Tanya is choosing two for herself when they hatch so hopefully our first incubation will be good if only one incubates and hatches, I will think its a miracle,very fascinating the life cycle of an egg!

Ya don't think what actually happens to produce that lovely white and yellow egg you eat on your breakfast plate,from start to finish an unfertilised egg is amazing BUT a fertilised egg from start to finish is a flippin miracle! Hens are really intelligent animals,they get it just right.

22 March 2007


The Incubator and Rhode Island Red fertilised eggs have arrived!
The eggs stood for 6 hours first to settle pointed end down and to bring them up to room temperature,and the Incubator was running empty for the same amount of time to see if everything is working properly.The temperature inside the Incubator has to be 37oC constantly and all that is working fine.Even though the eggs went in today tomorrow is the first day to count from,the eggs are turned 3x a day marked with a X and O to rotate 180 degrees 3x a day. So all we can do is wait now,the eggs will be "candled" at 7 days to see if there is a growing chick then again at 14 days then 3 days before hatch day the eggs DO NOT get turned at all,the humidity is raised slightly then we can watch little chicks come into the world,when they have all hatched (presuming they do) they will go into a "brooder" with a lamp,food and water.

It's all very exciting and I will update as often as I can.

More Soon

21 March 2007

Rows of Radishes

These are the Radishes planted in lovely rows in a wooden box growing nicely,at night I cover them with a fleece as they are outside now and it's Cold, although they are a cold season veg I still want to keep a warm a bit (all say awwww). When the Radish have been pulled and eaten I will plant Carrots in there and keep the box going with veg.

Kalvedon Wonder Pea update,

These are the peas today looking strong and healthy,may pot them on very soon, maybe tomorrow,but the egg Incubator arrives tomorrow and I have bigger fish to fry,or is that chicken?

Giant Single Sunflowers on the window,I think 1 or 2 have become a bit leggy but I will pick the strong one's soon.

Again I know this isn't Germination but the little Daffs look lovely in the window box,every morning when I walk into the kitchen,there they are with their smiling yellow faces looking at me,Awww.

More Soon,Keep Tuned...

20 March 2007

Chickens and Prisoner Cell Block H....

We have bought our first Hen house this will fit 6 to 8 Hens in nicely,all the way from Barnsley and we are picking it up Saturday. I decided that we are going to raise 6 chickens from scratch,I have bought the Incubator and some chick crumb and going to start it all soon,all we need now are some eggs to incubate,although we are not guarenteed to hatch all hens we will see what we get.

It's all very exciting and cant wait til they are approx 5 months old to start laying by which time they will have settled into their new house on the allotment.Having the chickens from egg will ensure they know us and we can have them vaccinated etc,their names are going to be from Prisoner Cell Block H! sad I know but they were cool name such as Doreen,Lizzy,Joyce,Bea,vera,which I think suit chickens and my cockeril will be called Fletcher (for none Prisoner fans that is the name of the male prison warden!). So with house,incubator,books,food and a whole lotta research in hand lets see what happens,everyone has to start somewhere right?
Any advise gratefully recieved please leave comments below.....

What have I been up to yesterday and today you ask? WELL I planted alot of seeds,the Radish have now gone in the wooden box covered by a fleece now outside I also covered my onions with a fleece,and the other seeds are coming up nicely. More on the seeds maybe tomorrow.

More soon .................

17 March 2007


We have Germination!
Germination is the first stage of the making of the seedling. The seed of a higher plant is a small package produced in a flower or cone containing an embryo and stored food reserves. Under favourable conditions, the seed begins to germinate, and the embryonic tissues resume growth, developing towards a seedling.

Requirements for seed germination
Seed germination depends on many factors, both internal and external. The most important external factors include: water, oxygen, temperature, and the correct soil conditions. Every variety of seed requires a different set of variables for successful germination. This depends greatly on the individual seed variety and is closely linked to the ecological conditions in the plants' natural habitat.

Kalvedon wonder Peas

these were sown a few days ago and have sprouted,these peas were taken and dried from last years lot I grew,I soaked them in water for 4 hrs before sowing which did the trick.


Sown at the same time as the peas have also come up,I havn't grown Radishes before and I love them so they will be great in my Greek Salads....


bought these today they will be pink, never had these either before,these will be planted tomorrow with the pansie's in a half basket on the wall, MMmm maybe I should wait until the coming snow and frost has gone.

(Ok so this isn't Germination but I wanted to show you anyway)

This is my lovely big lemon tree (lemona),it grows huge lemons on it this is the biggest one so far,there are loads of buds on it,this lemon tree can live outside and tolerate temperatures
of -5 c. I havn't dared put it out yet only a short while the other day in the sunshine then I wipped it back in before it rained.

Please feel free to leave comment (nice one's please :-)


14 March 2007

Most Wanted!

Just wanted to let you know that we are on the lookout,we are now looking for wood in the way of boards,planks,doors,struts,floorboards,3x2,floorboards,basically anything that came from a tree we need (the chucks do need somewhere warm to sleep ya know!).

We also need a waterbutt and hinges ect...anything you have spare you dont need we will gratefully recieve for the allotment.

In return (when we are up and running) we will supply you with our wares or money if it's for sale :-)

Please mail me if you are in the surrounding area's of Accrington and we can collect, we have a trailer.


13 March 2007

Seeds and Wellie's ....

Tumbling Tomato seeds just arrived....Suttons

I had 3 of these plants in an hanging basket last year in full sun at the top of the yard,and they provided little red juicy tomato's all summer,I bought my plants off a lady on a plant stall on a car boot sale and they did great,this year I am growing from seed,so lets see how that goes. Ya can't go far wrong with these though,no pinching out or tying up or supporting them as they are a trailing plant.We couldnt eat them fast enough,so off I go to sow these but first...I need tea! I big cup of it.....

PS: My new wellies have arrived too,now I am starting to look like 'Compo'!

Please feel free to leave comments on the link below...

more soon


12 March 2007

Birds Eye View

This is the plot courtesy of google Earth....It is huge,but we have big plans.

11 March 2007

The master plans

As Head Gardener of O.A.V (that's Our Allotment Venture if you were wondering), I thought it only organised to draw a plan of what is going to go where,so here it is....
I know,I know,it's very ambitious! but Rome wasn't built in a day and my Allotment certainly won't be...Well the area is approx 120ft long by 25ft wide!!,Heck!
The chicken shed is going at the bottom where the compost stalls will be,2 water butts,one right at the very top with a tap in it so I can gravity feed water down to the Chickens and the veggie's and another water butt next to the potting shed near the middle. Ooo Monty Don will be proud of me.
The Chickens will have a long run but there will also be a free range area for them to go in with a gravel square where they can scratch.
Get your orders in for eggs....
More soon B-J

What a site!

Went to the allotment yesterday (Sat) to see which bit we can stake,we were told we can half of the plot which is good news as we want Chicken's and grow Veg,oh and Paul wants to potter around doing Ray Mears and Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall type things whatever they may be? NOT necking my chickens hopefully! (I love H.F.W he is a cool guy!)
This Allotment has a community who are coming from another site at the end of March to fix fencing which came down in the winds a while ago,this should be good as it will get the place looking a bit better,on the site there is a huge metal cabin which also needs painting,this is going to be one of the jobs that we all muck in and do very soon. Apart from the Allotment I also grow what I can in my tiny backyard,this year on the menu is...
Strawberries,Tumbling Tomatoes,Peas (Kalvedon Wonder),Peppers,Chillies,giant sunflowers (Tanya's),radish,spring onions,onions from set,carrots, and last year Sweetcorn! I know Sweetcorn! It actually grew, why I sound so suprised is,I we were making Popcorn and I said I wonder what will happen if I plant these 2 corns in a pot so we tried it,it was great they were huge,so this year I have opted for all of the above and they are all sown and in the mini greenhouse at the moment.
More soon....B-J
PS: Iv'e ordered my Wellies,now iv'e no excuse...(am I turning it to 'Compo'?)