Posted by: hencorner | March 23, 2014

Our 100th post, Celebrations all round!

Welcome back to Hen Corner!

As featured in Country Living Magazine
I can’t believe that I’ve written 100 blog posts, thanks so much to our regular readers who keep coming back for more. Congratulations to the three winners of tickets to the Country Living Spring Fair, we hope that Sam Fut, Bridget Mellor and Julie Fraser had a great time and look forward to hearing their highlights. Readers who follow us on Twitter and Facebook will have seen some of the other things we’ve been up to recently…
We are currently building a new website, by subscribing to emails (box right) you’ll never miss a thing!

Capital GrowthCelebrate a prize…

We were really pleased to hear this week that we’ve won a prize with the project Capital Growth. This initiative, that supports Londoners to grow their own food, has been a great source of encouragement to us throughout 2013 as we logged all our produce that we collected from the garden on their Harvestometer. It was through their campaign for Londoners to grow a Million Meals that we worked out that between the fruit, vegetables, honey and eggs we gathered 200kg of food worth approximately £1,160.00 contributing to 2496 meals! It was also a privilege to partner with Capital Growth for one of our Pick and Pickle courses last year, helping those that grow their own food preserve the gluts and ensure nothing goes to waste. Thank you for our prize, we looking forward to spending it on fantastic goodies to help us grow more food this year…

JBP_6350Celebrate a birthday…

Our good friends at Omlet are celebrating their 10th Birthday very soon… We have been using their fabulous Eglus to house our chickens for seven years now and they are still designing great new products for both the kitchen and the garden such as this contemporary Egg Ramp that allows us to eat our eggs in order of freshness.

We love the story of how Omlet began, and as a reminder, here is our interview with one of the founders, Johannes Paul.

More than Honey: Sara will be looking at the role of bees in so much of the food we produce in the UK, she will be looking at changes in farming and bee keeping over the years and the challenges and benefit of keeping bees today.Who is in the hive?: Sara will explain the structure of a honey bee colony, looking at the nest, the castes, the life-cycle, and roles of each bee.The Bee Keeping Year: Sara will outline the seasonal tasks & responsibilities of keeping bees today including suggestions as to how those interested can find out and experience more.
Read more at http://www.countrylivingfair.com/Spring/Content/Spring-Garden/4_10/#2Lq7bkl3oHGxTz3q.99

ITB beesComing up at the Corner…

This year we have planned courses right throughout 2014 giving everyone the opportunity for ‘A little bit of country life in London’, in May we will have three types of courses available. Introduction to Bee Keeping, a practical hands on opportunity for small groups to inspect our honey making pollinators and two types of chicken keeping courses. Family Feathers and Fun includes all the information of our Urban Hens course but also provides treats and craft activities for our younger guests.

A Year of Recipes from an Urban Hen Keeper

A Year of Recipes from an Urban Hen Keeper

Book of the Blog Post:

A Good Egg: a year of recipes from an urban hen-keeper

By Genevieve Taylor

I’ve had this book for a year now and it was a delight to pick up again this week to flick through the seasonal recipes, all using our freshly laid eggs. We are collecting up to nine a day at the moment and fortunately my daughter is becoming quite the little baker! This Sunday we were more than happy to sample her warm batch of Pasteis de Belem, Portuguese custard tarts… yum!

This book is available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!

Other News:

  • Fortunately, Ascot is much better, she seemed to have something stuck in her throat
  • We did our first full bee inspection and all three colonies have survived the winter well
  • Hurrah, we’ve spotted our first couple of asparagus spears peeking through

Jobs for next week:

  • Arrange to transport one of the colonies of bees to a friend who lost one over winter
  • Give the compost bins a good stir, aerating them will speed up the process
  • Buy some eggs boxes as the eggs just keep on coming, if you are in the area, why not come and buy some?

 

Have a good week yourself…Hen logo good

Join us on the Journey!

Posted by: hencorner | March 11, 2014

Win Tickets to the Fair!

web ad

Country Living Spring Fair 2014

at the Business Design Centre, London

Win Tickets and Discount Code

We are really pleased to have been invited to do a series of talks about bees in the Spring Garden at this year’s Spring Fair run by our friends at Country Living magazine. The topics are:

More than Honey: Looking at the role of bees in so much of the food we produce in the UK, changes in farming and bee keeping over the years and the challenges and benefit of keeping bees today.
Who is in the hive? Explaining the structure of a honey bee colony, looking at the nest, the castes, the life-cycle, and roles of each bee.
The Bee Keeping Year Outlining the seasonal tasks & responsibilities of keeping bees today including suggestions as to how those interested can find out and experience more.

The full programme for all the talks in the Spring Garden can be found here and show tickets can be bought here.

However, we have been given THREE PAIRS of tickets to giveaway to our subscribers, followers, and friends…

One pair can be won on this Website, one on Twitter, and one on Facebook.

1) On this Website, please ‘Subscribe’, top right, and leave a comment, below, telling us why you would like to go to the fair.

2) On Twitter, please ‘Follow’ @HenCorner, Reply telling us who you’d bring with you, and ReTweet (RT) the competition tweet to your followers.

3) On Facebook, please ‘Like’ Hen Corner, top of page, leave a comment telling us which day you’d like to come, and do let your friends know about our competition.

You can enter only once on each platform (Website, Twitter, and Facebook), but that’s three chances to win!

Our competition closes at 12 noon on Monday 17th March and the winners will receive their tickets direct from the event organisers.

If you already subscribe, follow or like us, don’t worry – we know who you are, you can still join in the competition!

Winners will be drawn at random after the competition closes, contacted directly (by email, Direct Message or Facebook Message) and addresses will be forward to Country Living Magazine Fairs who will send out tickets direct.

We are following Twitter’s guidelines for competitions and Facebook’s Page’s Terms to run this competition.

If you are not successful in winning a pair of tickets, using this discount code: EX14S53 to book in here will help you save some pennies!

See you there,

Sara

Posted by: hencorner | February 17, 2014

Suspicious Spring?

Welcome back to Hen Corner!

As featured in Country Living Magazine
It’s the Half Term holiday and we are hoping to spend some good time in the garden. We’ve got courses coming up and are pleased to have been invited to speak about bees at the Country Living Spring Fair next month.  Readers who follow us on Twitter and Facebook will have seen some of the other things we’ve been up to recently…
We are currently building a new website, by subscribing to emails (box right) you’ll never miss a thing!

Blue crocusBuds, bulbs, blossom & bees…

I know I’m not the only one who is very confused with the weather recently; one day I’m watching the bees fly and counting the daisies on the lawn, then the next day it’s torrential rain and winds of 80mph! Fortunately, here at Hen Corner, whilst we are very close to the River Thames, we haven’t been affected by the nearby floods and our corner plot seems to have shelter on most sides, which is a huge relief as I’ve been kept awake at night by the noisy wind, worrying that a beehive might be blown over….

I need to keep reminding myself that it’s only February; yes, my teenage son is wearing shorts and we’ve had some mild sunny days, but we haven’t actually had winter yet. I’d really like to get it over and done with, please. You see the plants and trees need a good cold period of dormancy to prepare for a new fruitful season. With trees blossoming early, the birds and the bees respond, but a late winter (remember the snow in April last year?) can damage flowers and young crops, which affects the harvest, and our poor bees miss out on vital pollen and nectar as it could be too cold to fly when it’s most needed. Add in the challenges of a low pollination rate and you’ll find I’m talking like a farmer, not a London mum!

Winter Tree WashTLC for the trees…

We took advantage of a recent dry day by spraying our fruit trees and bushes with  Winter Tree Wash. We try to do this several times during the dormant winter months, Ahem see above, to help kill off any nasties that might be hiding in nooks and crannies… It’s nice and natural and helps keep trees in tip top condition.

Looking back to last year, whilst we had loads of beautiful blossom on our flat Italian peach tree (the peaches are flat, not the tree!), we saw no fruit due to peach leaf curl, this is caused by a fungal infection where the spores are transmitted through wet, windy weather. The suggested solution to protect trees of this family is to build a waterproof shelter using polythene stretched over a frame that covers the tree. I was really quite pleased with my shelter, made using an old towel ladder, but the polythene sheeting was no match for last weeks wind, and have you noticed the rain???

featurespring_garden_590xCountry Living Spring Fair 2014

We are really pleased to have been invited to do a series of talks about bees in the Spring Garden at this year’s Spring Fair run by Country Living magazine. The topics are:

More than Honey: Looking at the role of bees in so much of the food we produce in the UK, changes in farming and bee keeping over the years and the challenges and benefit of keeping bees today.
Who is in the hive? Explaining the structure of a honey bee colony, looking at the nest, the castes, the life-cycle, and roles of each bee.
The Bee Keeping Year Outlining the seasonal tasks & responsibilities of keeping bees today including suggestions as to how those interested can find out and experience more.

The full programme for all the talks in the Spring Garden can be found here and show tickets can be bought here.

More than Honey: Sara will be looking at the role of bees in so much of the food we produce in the UK, she will be looking at changes in farming and bee keeping over the years and the challenges and benefit of keeping bees today.Who is in the hive?: Sara will explain the structure of a honey bee colony, looking at the nest, the castes, the life-cycle, and roles of each bee.The Bee Keeping Year: Sara will outline the seasonal tasks & responsibilities of keeping bees today including suggestions as to how those interested can find out and experience more.
Read more at http://www.countrylivingfair.com/Spring/Content/Spring-Garden/4_10/#2Lq7bkl3oHGxTz3q.99

FFF SkylarComing up at the Corner…

This year we have planned courses right throughout 2014 giving everyone the opportunity for ‘A little bit of country life in London’. Our next courses, on Saturdays 22nd February and 5th April, are the first of our family sessions where children and their grown ups can hug a hen and consider if chicken keeping would work for them.

Family Feathers and Fun includes all the information of our Urban Hens course but also provides treats and craft activities for our younger guests.

A Squash and a Squeeze

Book of the Blog Post:

A Squash and A Squeeze

By Julia Donaldson
‘Take in your hen’ said the wise old man…

I love this book that encourages us to appreciate all that we have around us; a children’s classic with a powerful message!

It also reminds me of the times our chickens hop through an open door into our house, it’s always so funny…

This book is available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!

Other News:

  • After our Toast and Marmalade course, London blogger Chiswick Mum wrote this great review
  • A cheeky squirrel sneaked into one of the Eglus looking for a corn snack and couldn’t find its way out!
  • Poor Ascot is not very well, I think it’s Oral Canker, I hope she gets better soon…

Jobs for next week:

 

Have a good week yourself…Hen logo good

Join us on the Journey!

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