Welcome back to Hen Corner!
I know it’s very British to talk about the weather all the time, but it really is quite frustrating… The rain seems to be empowering slugs and snails, yet stops bees from flying, and the one nice evening saw the release of a swarm of hungry mosquitoes ready to feast on me! The film below shows the ‘Bees Winter Feed’, which we are currently having to do in June to avoid starvation of the colony…
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So last weekend, our wet weather plan was to go to the BBC Good Food Show Summer the good old M40 took us from West London to the NEC in Birmingham and what a feast we discovered for both the eyes and the tummy…
Andy (Mr HenCorner) suggested that we split up and searched for the best giveaways/samples. He was delighted to find himself in the ‘Drinks Cabinet’, a selection of stalls selling alcoholic drinks and offering tasters. In particular, his favourite was Demijohn, ‘The Liquid Deli where you can taste the origin’. This was a good find for our little competition and I must agreed that their Organic Rhubarb Vodka Liqueur was rather wonderful. My team went hunting for producers that we already knew and were very pleased to find The Well Hung Meat Co (pictured above) displaying a sample Monthly Meat Box. We said hello and how much we liked their meat, we’ve been customers for a few years now, and were delighted to receive a loyalty gift of a pack of Rump Steaks which contributed to a quick, yet gastronomic, feast when we got home. Thank you very much, I think our team won!
How has the weather been where you are? Have you found advantages with the rain? More stable brassicas? Extra juicy berries? Leave a comment and let us know…
The very best freebie of Good Food Show Summer was the free entry into Gardeners’ World Live. We were all the more excited after seeing the team reporting from the show a couple of days earlier and were pleased that the rain held off whilst we explored the show gardens, marvelled at the ‘Living Wall’ and watched the chickens clucking around outside. My mum had given me some birthday money to spend and I was delighted to buy a couple of vintage lanterns before heading off into the floral marquee.
The display from Brighter Blooms really caught my eye; the flowers were stunning and seemed quite familiar. Then I spotted the Zantedeschia that Monty Don had chosen as his best buy of the show and decided that it was therefore good enough for Hen Corner too (though I chose the hardier version that doesn’t need lifting each winter)!
I also chose an architectural plant (forgotten its name!) from Desert To Jungle, which will give striking colour, height and texture to our border.
Book of the Blog Post: Bees at the Bottom of the Garden
Before we collected our colony of bees and brought them to Hen Corner last August I had been to River Cottage in Dorset to train on their Bee Keeping Course, after which Andy and I did our basic assessment training with the Ealing & District Bee Keeping Association where this book was recommended. It’s a no-nonsense, season by season, well illustrated guide book for new bee keepers that has stood the test of time.
This book is available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!
- We have taken the top super frames out of the beehive to replace with a syrup feeder as the bees can’t forage for nectar in the rain
- The melons and aubergines are flowering so are outside waiting for the bees to pollinate them
- We’ve been given an antique wooden poultry cage by our good friend Sarah of Celestial Cakes; at the moment I’m keeping seedlings in it to protect them from birds!
Jobs for next week:
- Check the bees for varroa mite levels and food stores
- Plant the herbs I was given for my birthday and the plants from Gardeners’ World Live
- Start picking the raspberries and loganberries that are coming thick and fast
Have a good week yourself…
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