Written by Whitney
This month we have become more confident in acknowledging when things aren’t working and taking steps early in order to remove or resolve issues early on. One example of this is swapping out our flock of chickens, for a while now they haven’t been laying and although we tried several methods to fix it, the only thing for it was to put them out to pasture and bringing in a completely new flock, a few members of our community here at Kotare Village have Legbar’s and they seem ideally suited to the climate here so we swapped four young hens for our previous flock of four hens and a rooster. Already we are noticing a huge difference on the breakfast table!
Also some of our seedlings got fried in the hot weather, they were still alive but had clearly been knocked quite badly so we thought it better to sacrifice a few weeks to get a far healthier crop in the end.
Murray, who is the Forest Garden manager at Koanga gave us a tutorial on citrus pruning, completely going to town on the mandarin tree (he said that he took it easy so we could still get a crop.) If that’s taking it easy… It’s hard to see so much of the future fruit cut away but it has made such a big difference to navigating around the garden and has allowed more sunlight to the rest of the garden for winter.
We spend about an hour every day watering and harvesting from the garden and caring for the animals. Each week we spend about two hours on garden maintenance mainly weeding the beds, maintaining the paths and foliar feeding. Other time spent in the garden in February was pruning mandarin tree: ½ hour, garden bed prep: 2 hours, propagation: 1 hour, planting: 1 hour, rewired last rabbit cage: 1 hour, chipping Tagasaste and mandarin prunings: 1 ½ hours.
Yield during February:
Welsh Bunching Onions: 6 bunches
Leeks: 8 small
Basil: 4 large bunches
Magneta Spreen: 5 large bunches
Sorrel: 1 bunch
Hazelnuts: 2.5kg (In shell)
Malabar Spinach: 0.5kg
Nasturtium: A few leaves and flowers for salads.
Rosemary: 4 sprigs
Amaranth Greens 1kg
Sweet Corn: 30 cobs
Apples: 1kg (Lost a lot to coddling month, the geese next door appreciated it)