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Bramham Blogs

Shedding Light on all the Jobs

Lottie

These light mornings are great but I am creating a very long list of jobs that need doing now I can actually see. It is brilliant though being able to wander around again in the morning taking in the scenery and chilling out. My poor purple sprouting broccoli and kale have been well battered by the wind and are leaning at all sorts of angles. I’ve managed to keep the pigeons off this year by netting them (the one in the picture is from last year and you can see how eaten the leaves were) but that has also now blown all over the place too and so this weekends job will be trying to get them all standing again and tying them in to their stakes before covering them again. The broccoli has started to sprout now so we will be able to enjoy fresh spears this weekend. I read in the mags that I need to take the centre flower out first, which I didn’t do last year and this will then encourage more side shoots which are more like the ones you buy in the shops, though I can assure you they taste so much better fresh from the plant. I will never tire of that even though I have to wait nearly a full year from planting to eating. The kale might also send new shoots out of the top now the light is improving so I’ll leave them in a bit longer to make the most of it before removing them and feeding whats left to the chickens. They have been living on brussel sprout stems and the top growth from them for the last month so they’ll be ready for a change. Over the winter I’ve been doing a bit of googling about my chicken problem and why I might have lost a few these last few years and have found out that they oak is poisonous to chickens and we have a small oak tree growing just next to the plot which would shed it’s leaves and acorns on the ground where the chickens forage when we let them out of their pen when we are at the allotment. I wonder if this might be causing their demise. I don’t want to get rid of the oak tree as it is thriving and the birds love to sit in there before they come down on to the bird table so another job for a nice weekend is to totally re-arrange the wire fencing that allows the chickens some freedom when we let them out but keeps them off our crops. I’m going to route it so that they can get into the area where the raspberries are planted as that gets lots of weeds in around the bottom and chickens are very good at clearing the ground. It needs a bit of planning to make sure we can access all areas easily but hopefully if it does the trick we won’t have any more poorly chickens and I can rest easy letting them out.