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.
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.