We've got three chickens now. And they all lay eggs. Each of them manage one a day. We have let them roam around the place, so they really are Free Ranging. They are housed in an 'Eglu' from a company called 'Omlet'. Ha! Ha! - Update on the Chickens March 2011 - They are still laying. We get 2 or 3 eggs a day, so they must be Happy Hens. This photo was not taken in July as you have probably guessed, but it does show their accomodation. They are up in the Orchard now, not behind the house as in this photo.
The Barn Cats
A new addition to the menagerie are a pair of Ratting Cats. They are sisters, black and white, almost identical whom Susy rescued. However they have a job to do, and they do it well. The rats have retreated from the Guinea Pig shed, and are further from the house than they were. They live in the garage and are 'Outdoor cats'. Poor old Jasper our 'Indoor Cat' is a bit put out, but as they do not come into the house, he can relax there.
Early signs of what a success the pond might be! We have still not filled it up fully yet, a slow job! But here is a shot in the morning with the Moon (an 87% Waning Gibbous if you are interested) over the Mizen, and reflecting in the pond with our Standing Stone in silhouette.
The Evening Terrace is beginning to take shape. We are filling the pond from the spring (gravity fed) in this picture. The dam can be seen on the right, with a 'Standing Stone' casting a shadow in the sunlight just beyond. We have three levels of terrace beyond the pond. The lowest one, which should be in good shelter, has a fire pit, and is paved in the same way as the rest of the terracing. Ideal for BBQs we hope.
More raised beds.
The pile of earth has been dug through by Susy, and most of the stones removed. There are to be three beds, a rectangular one in the midddle with the triangular ones each side. The ground here is quite wet, so we will be putting a drain in alongside the Polytunnel. The end of the wood store can be seen in the background, with other beds for various vegetables by the shed. The pile of stone in the foreground will be used when we get to building a stone barn between the Toy Shed and the Garage.
Here is a truck load of clay being delivered into the newly dug pond. A retaining wall was built on top of a ridge of rock which forms a natural boundry. This clay was difficult to work, requiring the digger and water to get it plyable enough to line the pond. Let's hope there are no leaks!
The Evening Terrace to the west of the extension can be seen on the left edge of the picture. The site of another pond is in the foreground, ready to be dug out. The pile of stone left over from the old barn and end of the cottage we knocked down are on the right, shortly to be moved elsewhere. The pond site fills with water when it rains, but quickly drains away.
Here is the first of the raised beds
AT LAST! The globe artichokes are behind Susy, then the Toy Shed, with a wood store (nearly full) to the right of the shed made from pallets and corrugated iron sheet. An idea Francis got from seeing this method used in the French Alps. Still more digging to do.....
In the orchard we have scraped off the old layer of grass, and planted a wild flower mix for hay. The trees are not very big yet, well not even a little big, but the flowering meadow is absolutely splendid at the moment. A very convenient stop for our bees which are just a few metres to the left of the photogtrapher. Susy has also created two beds for raspberries and the like.
Here is a view of the veggie garden from the bedroom. Francis is spliting wood in front of a nice bed of Globe Artichokes. There are several piles of wood from the trees chopped down round this area which we are slowly getting sorted out. The builders scaffolding is in the foreground.