Every year, it is nice to go back and look through the blog posts that have accumulated. Having made around 150 posts, averaging about 3 per week, it can take a long time to look through them all. However, it is really beneficial to refresh your memory of what you should be doing now and also remind yourself of the things that worked particularly well and then of course.. those that didn't!
This is where it all started again. A spontaneous trip to a local garden centre resulted in us returning with a bag of early seed potatoes and some courgette plants...
These courgettes were a fantastic success, but the potatoes which we grew in bags were not so great. After giving up my allotment 2 years ago to concentrate on studies it was definately nice to get my fingers dirty again...
This was a very exciting month. Amy who had never grew anything before was witnessing tomato plants shoot right up and we also saw those two measly courgette plants burst in to a jungle of foliage. This month also brought our first pickings of courgettes too. Simply delicious..
It was nice to get the bees back. After 3 years of beekeeping I have still not managed to harvest a good deal of honey. I only ever intend to take what the bees don't need and with the bees being quite a small colony they have never produced a great deal. I'm hoping for a much more vigorous honey crop this year. The first inspection of Spring is upon us!
My highlight of the year was adding the Bantams to our ever growing very, very, very, very small holding. Having had 2 hybrids for eggs already in an eglu classic, it was nice to add some more chickens to the menagerie. Lesley and Geraldine our two original hens were rather shocked to see the impecably beautiful bantam trio of Margot, Barbara and Mrs.Weaver pitch up across the path in another eglu. These young, point of lay ladies came to strut their stuff and takeover the ruling of the roost.
There was some sadness to this story. Who can forget when one morning a 'cock a doodle doo' rang throughout the house, and upon very close inspection we realised that Barbara was more of a he than a she. No wonder there was a short term lack of eggs from these 'point of lay' pure breeds.
Here is Barbara in all of her 'cock-a-doodle-doodlingness'...
Anyway Barbara was replaced with Barbara II or Barbaradeux as we like to call her. The Bantams have been laying better than expected through winter and have been putting Lelsey and Geraldine to shame at times.
A new academic year saw our blog posting tail off slightly, but good things still happened in our good life...
This month saw us doing lots of nice things inside rather than out. We got our Christmas cakes baked and I also helped Amy bake her first loaf. It is certainly a taste to savour, fresh homemade bread. We also went foraging in the park for crab apples which made a splendid jelly. Christmas things started to appear in shops and our countdown really began..
One of Martin's favourite times of year and not only for the soul reason that it is his birthday. October is a month of Orange. Orange leaves on trees and of course the wonderful pumpkins that emerge on doorsteps around the world at Halloween. We had an extra special Halloween this year with our trip to Disneyland Paris. A truly magical month, but food produced in the garden started to dwindle..
Our only post in November was an introduction to Barbaradeux. It certainly started to feel like Christmas in this month. Barbara was definately glad she wasn't a turkey...
We had a very merry family christmas this year, which was splendid. With the bees sleeping for the winter, and the eggs starting to come to a stop we weren't up to too much in our good life venture but we did get crafty and make some homemade cross stitch cards for our nearest and dearest..
A very happy new year! Christmas seemed to have flew by without stopping and it was time to sit exams for us both. Not the best month from the 12. Roll on Spring!
Amy's Birthday was celebrated for what seemed forever. With such a large family we had birthday meals here there and everywhere but she certainly wasn't complaining..
I taught Amy how to make perfect bread this month and I think you can agree she is a quick learner..
A late Christmas present came to us at the end of February in the form of our new allotment. Initially being allocated Plot 16 brought so much happiness, but when faced with the decision betweet Plots 16 and 114 there was only one clear winner. Plot 114 became our new home and definately ensured next month was going to be a busy one..
Like I stated earlier, Plot 114 ensured March was a busy month for us. Clearing the site and getting it ready for planting took some time but we are sure that it is going to be worth it come harvest time..
Well here's to another year of blogging for a start. We have really enjoyed giving an account of our good life and sharing it with all of our 54 followers and those who don't follow publicly aswell. We have really enjoyed reading everybody elses blogs too and we always try to publicise others blogs as much as our own, so I think that this month I will start featuring our favourite blogs in special posts. You can learn so much from every blog you visit.
For us, Plot 114 is such an exciting project. We can't wait to get things in the ground and start picking them soon. Martin also fancies some new chickens, but that is something we will have to see about, and we really hope that we get a honey harvest this year no matter how small.
One thing we are really keen on is improving the readability and graphology of the blog. So all of your feedback will be appreciated. We hope to include better quality photographs and more posts sharing hints and tips as opposed to just accounts of our days. We've already taken your feedback on board to remove the word verification process when posting comments.
Last but not least we really, really want to thank all of our followers and readers. Our site has been visited over 10,000 times in just under 12 months and from all corners of the globe too. Thankyou so much and we hope you continue to visit throughout the rest of 2012 and beyond.
Martin and Amy