Naming chickens….& other stuff

Even though I haven’t got them yet, everyone has been asking what I’m going to call my new chickens.

I loaned a friend Watership Down by Richard Adams recently and (as the rabbits were named), I’d like to go with wildflower/plant names.

Clover, Thistle and (maybe) Yarrow.

But then I thought, what if they don’t have Clover, Thistle and Yarrow personalities? What if they’re Grumpy, Frumpy and Bossy?

So, I think I’ll observe and wait and for the time being, they’ll just be, “Oy, chooks!”

In the meantime, spring has sprung……

I’m picking asparagus—a half dozen every couple of days (tip—to keep asparagus fresh, stand the spears in a glass of water):

There’s a volunteer lettuce in there, too.

All the stone fruits are flowering. This is my new dwarf, yellow-fleshed nectarine. Dwarf is right—it’s only a foot high at the moment. I expect it to top out at a metre or so:

Alpine strawberries are flowering (the red-fruited form just clumps; the white-fruited form runs everywhere. It’s covered about 5 square metres so far, a great ground cover for the food forest).

The citrus trees are literally dripping with fruit:

I’m potting up dozens of seedlings…..tomatoes, sorrel, borage, celery, gazania (for the bees), parsley, sage, huauzontle (look it up…I had to!), liquorice, calendula (bees again, although the petals are edible and look great in a salad), rocket and lettuce.

I’ve planted an experimental early crop of butter beans in a wicking box. It’s been so warm I thought I’d start sowing early. I normally start planting beans at the beginning of October and each month from then till February. They take 2 months to bear, so I have beans continuously from just before Christmas till April.

The quinces are covered in new leaves. Thank god! I thought they’d died. Last year they got quince rust and dropped all their leaves. Unlike the stone fruit, they flowered after leafing out (which took me by surprise) and even set a few fruit, but they dropped off as well. Hoping for better things this year:

I’ve started potting the early tomatoes into their final pots, from which I’ll plant out. I decided to go for the deep (15 cm) tubes this year, instead of the half-size ones. That should give a really large, sturdy seedling to put into the ground as soon as the soil warms up. In previous years I’ve succumbed to impatience and planted too soon and then been frustrated by a sudden cold snap which has set them back:

They’re still in the polyhouse at the moment. They only came out to have their photo taken. Even though we’ve had a few warm days, I’m not taking any chances. Tomatoes are too important!

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2 Responses to “Naming chickens….& other stuff”

  1. Frogdancer Says:

    Your plants are so much more advanced than mine. I got excited about two blossoms on my nectarine, but look at yours!

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      But, like I said, it’s only a foot tall. It’s probably not meant to have that many flowers at that size. I doubt whether it’ll set any fruit; I haven’t seen any bees at it.

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