Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A lemon, and the light changes

The light changed today, and the shadows started lengthening. There is also a chill in the air, warning us that in a few months time we shall need the wood burning Rayburn alight, which would be a bit difficult to do because it is still in the hallway, waiting to be put into place. Still, there is a warning in the tonight that time is passing and that the man of the house needs to get a move on if we are not to have another cold winter, which I don't mind having, but I think that six winters of no heating really is enough to endure. 

I was surprised that the light changed today, and that the brightness of the early half of the year is now over, and that the warm glow of late summer has already arrived, and it not yet being half way through the year. And the grass on the fields is taking on an August look, rather than a late June look. Still, we shall have days and days of warm weather ahead, of that I am certain. 

Could do with a drop of rain though. When I was in the UK I dreaded seeing clouds in the sky, and got quite depressed when it rained, but here we yearn for rain, not loads and loads of it, but just a few drops here and there during the summer to help the growing things along. Speaking of which, I have conquered the flea beetles on the brassicas, and although not looking particularly attractive due to the many, many, holes which now festoon their leaves, (and you should see the kale - it looks even worse) they are thriving. We also have tomatoes on the way, which is early, or perhaps it is the tilling of the soil which Lester has been doing on his mini tractor which has pushed them on. But the peppers, chilli plants, and aubergines are all looking a bit sorry for themselves although do have flowers starting to appear. 

And look at what I found on the floor of the half barn:

.....our first lemon, grown on this little plant:

....which is six years old, bought when we were living in the caravans, so had to endure all that we endured except that we did not get frost bite like that little plant did, almost frozzled to death it was, and yet it survived. It is looking straggly because it does not get enough light, but we can't put it outside because the chickens and geese might have a go at it, so it has to wait a while before it can get all the light it needs. It always has flowers somewhere on its branches, and would have more lemons but the dogs tend to keep knocking them off when they are hunting flies which buzz around the windows. 

This lemon was put into a lemon and coconut cake. There is another lemon coming along at the top of the little plant, which keeps trying to be part of the self sufficiency team here, even though it struggles, bless it. 

So, the light has changed. Not to worry, the light changes back to its early year brightness just before the end of the year, and that is when we need it to do so because it will help bolster our spirits just before the wet season hits us, and the inevitable flooding starts. 

Bye for now. Am off to see how Lester is doing on the veg patch, which he has been working on all day. It is looking very tidy now. Plus he mowed the paths, nearly mowing the feathers off the young cockerel boy as he wandered aimlessly along with his little gang of henling girls, none of them paying any attention to the machine which was coming up behind them. All escaped. Just. It was not as if Lester was intending to despatch them, just that he thought that they would get out of the way quicker than what they did. 

Another hen lost to the fox, with a scattering of feathers telling us that this had happened. Good job that Lester did not run over those henling girls, as we shall be need them to replace those which have gone down the throat of the foxes. 

Ho hum, and off I go. 

Sending blessings to you, 



Kev Alviti said...

I could do with breeding some replacements as well for my hens. Keep pushing him to put the rayburn in. Once its in your wonder why you didn't do it sooner!

John Gray said...

Now all you need is a VERY large gin to go with it

Vera said...

Kev, I have my ways of encouraging Lester to get a move on with the kitchen!!!

John, not fussed with gin, but does a slice of lemon go with ginger wine? Or Baileys?

northsider dave said...

How did you conquer the Flea Beetle, Vera?

Getting the Rayburn fitted would be the most important priority on my list. It's always good to read about other smallholdings.

Vera said...

Hi Dave, just had another look at your recent blog, especially the photo of Bantry Bay. The band is singing The Star of County Down this evening, and Bantry Bay is mentioned in the chorus. Feels like I know the place now!

Flea Beetle? All I did was use a squirty bottle filled with a squeeze of washing up liguid diluted in lukewarm water, then sprayed/squirted the leaves, making sure that I rubbed off any greyish masses (which I think are the baby flea beetle nurseries), and any yellow strands (soon to be butterfly hatchlings). Made my knees and back ache, but worth it to see the depressed plants perk up.