After a very dry but mild winter we have finally had plenty of rain and sun and everything has started growing again. Great news for the animals and us alike. We have blue skies and the Oaks, a large part of the forest are bursting into leaf.
We also now have a full years worth of outside temperature monitoring data. Last year the last frost date was the beginning of April. This year we had a frost on the 7th April but not since then so it will be interesting to see if that is the last one. With so much sun up here it’s easy to be tempted to plant things out and then be caught out.
The polytunnel had the chickens in it over the winter again. This keeps them out of the worst of the weather and they eat all the weeds and remnants of last years crops.
The pigs were on the terraces, cleaning up all the weeds and digging over the soil. We have now built a mobile pig pen on an old caravan chassis, made from reclaimed wood from old window shutters. This allows me to move them around the land easily to where they are needed. In the winter this is on the terraces, in the summer when we have things growing there I put them to work fighting the bracken that has taken over so much of the land here.
This spring I am doing Geoff Lawton’s online Permaculture course. I would thoroughly recommend this course even though I haven’t finished it yet. The quality and amount of content are incredible (I’m behind already). You can find out more about the course at https://www.discoverpermaculture.com
We will be growing things this year as normal and this winter I hope to redesign the layout of the terraces after the course. I’m really interested in integrating the chickens better to produce compost using all the wood shavings we generate here. I’m sure there will be many other things I will change after the course. It’s a good time to do it though, we have finished the majority of the building renovations and now I need to turn my thoughts to the farm and forest as a whole.