Posted by: hencorner | January 20, 2015

A Sweet Start

January Honey Tasting“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.“*

*Victor Hugo

Well, for creatures so small, they still love our attention even when they are huddled together in the hive throughout the coldest months. Usually, a honey bee colony is at its smallest this time of year, with enough bees to care for the queen, feeding and cleaning her, as well as nursing her brood and ensuring all is in order whilst waiting for spring. A couple of weeks ago I opened the hives to treat them for Varroa mites, nasty little creatures that can do a lot of harm, one colony was smaller, quiet and gentle as expected yet the other was large and very active as though it was June not January. After treating them, I gave them a big block of fondant icing each ensuring they had enough food to munch on whilst it’s too cold to fly out to forage. Knowing that the bees were happy, I joined our local bee keepers for a special training session led by the lovely Emily Scott who journals her bee keeping in her blog Adventures in Beeland. Emily has been studying honey bees at a much higher level than most other bee keepers and is working her way through many modules including Honeybee Products and Forage. After explaining how bees choose which flowers to explore on their nectar hunt and how plants communicate back to bees that they have already been pollinated, we were able to taste around 30 different honeys that had been produced around the world. Emily’s post about the honey tasting can be found here and I concur that Alan and Betty’s honey from Hayes was a favourite with its hint of citrus and number two for me was also the Kew Gardens honey, I’m sure that the constant variety of flora available at Kew Gardens contribute to the beautiful flavours.

I have since volunteered to join the bee keeping team at Kew Gardens allowing me new opportunities to learn and develop and maybe a chance to harvest some Kew Gardens honey for myself!

If you’d like to come and meet our bees here at Hen Corner, we are opening our hives for courses on Wednesday afternoons from May – July, more info here.

 

TM Toast

Coming up at the Corner

We have courses running right throughout the year beginning next week with Toast and Marmalade on Wednesday 28th January; a whole day course introducing both marmalade making and baking bread.

Next month we are chicken keeping with Families, Feathers and Fun February 28th.

All our courses are open for bookings, so whether you want to try something new or treat someone to a wonderful gift, have a look and book in early!

Other News:

  • Sara has been volunteering at The Shelter Project, providing dinner, bed and breakfast for local homeless people, such a valuable project during these cold months
  • Some of our Chickens have started laying eggs again after the winter break – this is due to longer days not warmer weather!
  • We are nearly there on our new kitchen designs, but the big question is which of the companies do we go with? Currently, it’s between Homebase/Schreiber, Wickes, Howdens and Benchmarx – One is clearly in the lead at the moment… Any recommendations?

Jobs for next week:

Have a good week yourself…Hen logo good

Join us on the Journey!

Posted by: hencorner | January 12, 2015

2015 – Bring it on…

Hen in Street“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”

Here at Hen Corner, we believe that living life to the full is a gift and a privilege, and over recent weeks, we’ve embraced some changes that will hopefully facilitate growth in our projects and see many other people join us on the journey to live life to the full.

The biggest change is that Sara is now working full-time for Hen Corner, looking to broaden out our work with schools and develop more exciting courses that we will be delivering throughout the year.

We were thrilled last year to see some of our course guests return for subsequent sessions allowing them to explore new topics, develop their artisan food skills and continue on their journey towards self-sufficiency.

We are looking forward to having a new kitchen installed that will help us with our food based courses and current thoughts include Afternoon Tea (make your own bread, scones and jam), Gift Hampers (biscuits, chocolates and preserves) alongside some seasonal sessions for young families where children can meet the animals and enjoy crafts and games. If you have other suggestions for us, do leave a comment below…

Whilst we have been supporting London schools for several years now, we will be broadening out our range of lessons to complement the curriculum for both Primary and Secondary school students; if we can help a school near you, let us know!

TM Toast

Coming up at the Corner

Our courses are planned right throughout the year giving everyone the opportunity for ‘A little bit of country life in London’.

This month we have our Toast and Marmalade Course on Wednesday 28th January, a whole day course introducing both marmalade making and baking bread.

Next month we welcome families to join us for Families, Feathers and Fun chicken keeping on February 28th.

Why not come and join us? All our courses are open for bookings, so whether you want to try something new or treat someone to a wonderful gift, have a look and book in early!

Other News:

  • We have been asked to participate in the Country Living Magazine Spring Fair with talks about Chickens and Bees and maybe some food demonstrations in their Spring Garden
  • Chiswick Buzz have asked us for a recipe of the month that they can film and publish to encourage us to cook more seasonally
  • Bunty, our Chocolate Orpington Bantam, has been chosen to be the surrogate mother hen this Spring. As soon as she is ready, we’ll get some fertile eggs for her to sit on, maybe some more Pekin Bantams

Jobs for next week:

  • Deliver a big order of honey to BAFTA, I wonder if they’ll use it for the Film Awards next month?
  • Finalise my plans for half a day at The Holmewood School; we’re talking chickens, life cycles and animal welfare
  • Write a brief to re-brand Hen Corner and develop a new website…

Have a good week yourself…Hen logo good

Join us on the Journey!

Posted by: hencorner | December 23, 2014

Joy, Love, Peace

Christmas Joy

…for you this Christmas and throughout the New Year

From all at Hen Corner

 

Hen logo good

Have a good week yourself…

Join us on the Journey!

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