Thursday, June 2, 2011

Around the croft

We have not been as busy around the croft as we had hoped at this time of year.  The storm, which seems to have lasted for the entire month of May finally abated slightly at the beginning of the week, with a brief return for one day, and then - well - all of a sudden it is Summer! That's fine - I'll take it, thanks!
Anyway,we have had a couple of days  taking stock of the damage - lots of water lying around - no surprise there; my mini greenhouse blown away by a sneaky north easterly - thankfully no seedlings were there at the time, and that is about it.  The biggest problem was that we were just not able to get out there and get on with things.  But now we can, so all systems are go.

My favourite task is sowing seeds.  I love the sense of expectation and hope as I sprinkle tiny seeds like fairy dust into a pot of earth - or the sheer magic of pushing a dried shiny bean into dark moist compost.  You can almost touch that potential.  We are very late in starting this year, due to a number of reasons (here and here mainly), but still, we will do what we can, and learn lessons for next year.

We have found it important, in our first year here, not to dive in and make huge changes.  We don't yet know the rhythm of the seasons here - how the land works.  We have to listen and feel. We have quite a few old buildings on the croft, which have fallen into disrepair.  This was originally the lambing shed, and, in the future, may very well be again, with a new roof.  For now, though, we are slowly removing the tattered corrugated roofing and using the building as a giant cold frame, or tiny walled garden.  The plants are nice and snug - protected from the wind, yet still benefit from the sunshine, the rain (oh yes!) and the pollinators.

And we are managing to grow a fair bit already.  Salads, broad beans, chard, celeriac, leeks, strawberries, parsley, peas and potatoes are all coming up.  I am particularly happy to see the potatoes, as we thought we had lost most of them, due to the heavy rains.  One thing we have learned here is that the weather changes so quickly, and within a few days, the soil is drying out, the sun is shining and the place is green.  Joel Salatin talks a lot about the forgiveness of the land - and he is right.  I am so glad he is too.

And if you listen - it whispers to you - lets you in on little secrets.  Shows you that tiny groove in the gateway that means the wheelbarrow can just squeeze in and out of the compost bay. Reminds you exactly how low to bend to get out of the lambing shed without cracking your head. Reveals a  hidden roll of sheep netting in the barn, so you can protect your salads and strawberries from the winds.  Teases you when you sow  pumpkin seeds, after so many failures in your previous place.  But who knows?  This might be the year!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little tour around the croft.  Farmama is hosting a farm/ garden sharing theme at her beautiful and inspiring blog.  Pop over and see what other folks are growing.


  1. Ahhhh, what a wonderful posts and your photos are so gorgeous. I love that old lambing shed and your produce mosaic looks wonderful!
    Just in chit-chat, the winds are just mad here in NM and they don't stop. Over 20 miles per hour sustained with gusts up into 45+ miles per hour. No rain here though for a long, long time-basically drought conditions but like you, all of a sudden summer is here with a bang and 90+F temps.
    I hope your weather settles down to a somewhat even keel and I will keep my fingers crossed with your pumpkins!

  2. You live in such a pretty area! Oh, but I do love all the stones you have there. Happy growing.

  3. Thanks for visiting me down here in Australia. I just love your croft. My ancestry is part Scottish and I can feel it in my bones, my heart calls out to anything Scottish and I have just been drawling over your photos. And you have a lovely writing style.I'll be sure to come back.

  4. I do so enjoy your blog. Ah, but I told you that before. I have had two rhubarb meals. That's it. Haven't even tilled up my wee garden yet, but I have fresh vegetables on my mind for August.

  5. love it! Thanks for sharing your patch of the world here online, and talking about iut with sucg gratitude and joy, it's very inspiring ;) So glad to follow you along..


  6. absolutely gorgeous! so glad to have found you xo

  7. I love all the green Jacqui. Good luck with the pumpkins! x

  8. Loving your progress, good luck with the pumpkins, always good to keep trying.
    I agree about watching and listening to a new garden or growing space in the first year, see what works, what doesn't, see what type of thing grows naturally.

    Hope the weather gives you a break now. We are at the opposite end of this having had the driest Spring here for 101 year! Great weather for being outdoors, but not so good for growing food, but we're coping. Could really do with some nights of rain now though.

    Dawn x

  9. I love the outbuildings, disrepair and all! I call my husband over every time you post a picture like those and he says, "oh, the folks in Scotland."... I get giddy ;). silly I know.
    Despite the slow start, your plants look lovely!! We are having a strange growing season here but going well.
    Oh and the ground/husk cherries we were talking about ARE indeed Cape Gooseberries. Very cool but I also read that they are not true gooseberries. Those are not familiar to me but I have some gooseberries started for this year!
    Happy Growing!
    Gorgeous grandbaby too!

  10. I love that old lambing shed. What a picturesque place to live and grow.

  11. your lambing shed is delightful and great pictures of your veggies and all other growing things. all the best with the pumpkins this year.

  12. That's a lovely blog post. I love that old shed, what history it must have seen and heard!!

    I love planting seeds too, it really is just magic to think that so much could come from such a tiny thing. xxxx

  13. That was lovely. What a very special place!
    Beautiful photos.
    Much love.

  14. Summer seems to have suddenly arrived here too, take me by suprise somewhat. Hope it sticks around a bit for you, you really have had a rough few months weather-wise!

  15. I really enjoyed this wee tour of your croft. Your current use of the roofless lambing shed looks very wise - and I hope you can reinstate your greenhouse soon. Someone in Benbecula has a geodesic dome greenhouse - better wind resistance? I don't know! Take care.

  16. How wonderful that you are living your dream...a beautiful life to choose. I hope the weather stays summery for you now and your plants grow and grow :~) Thank you for visiting ~ x

  17. Just found your blog and spent some time looking around ....beautiful pictures and an idyllic lifestyle, if hardworkat times

    I am in the middle of working my way through the beckwith books and can empathise with your desire to move and become a part of the culture .....see you around soon


  18. hello Shaz - best of luck on you journey - hope to see what you are up to.xx
    Helen - I enjoyed my visit - thanks for the good wishes.xx
    Christine - someone over the water from us has a geodesic greenhouse - it looks like it is in a nice sheltered spot in the lee of a hill. There are plans for something....xx
    Thank you Trish - yes it is special, and that keeps us going forward. xx
    Pippa - i was just thinking yesterday of all the lambs that must have been born there - what stories indeed. xx
    Claire - thank you - hope things are improving for you too. Sounds like they might be, but hopefully some rain too xx

  19. Thank you JTS and Julia. i do love the lambing shed - even if i keep misjudging the doorway.
    HF - Lol - my husband has the same relationship to the bloggers i follow. He is getting to know who and where they are.
    Dawn and Carly - I hope you get some rain soon - i have heard how hot and dry it is. I only have a smidgin of jealousy.
    Courtney - thank you, and I enjoyed finding you too - lovely blog.

  20. Claire - so lovely to have you follow along too.xx
    Peg - we have no rhubarb here! I am having withdrawal symptoms, but we did bring a root with us that should be fine for next year. x
    Kate - lovely to see you here - and do come back. Always lots of Scotland happening! xx
    Tracey - Hi - the pigs moved a lot of those stones around earlier in the year. There seem to have been lots of walls in the past which have fallen down and some of the stones were buried. We still have to pile them up for reuse. xx
    Meggs. i know you love your desert winds. But here, although there is a lot of rain, the plants still get scorched by the wind. pumpkins? We'll see, but i am not crossing anything tbh. xx


Many thanks for visiting me. I love to read your thoughts and appreciate each one. I will respond to comments and queries here, so please check back xx


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