Hoeing in the autumn sunshine

Glorious autumnal weather has at last arrived with the start of November! The sun was out fully although the nip in the air reminds us that winter is approaching fast.

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Making full use of the wonderful weather, we walked down to the allotment determined to fully hoe the top plot as well as attending our brood of birds. Whilst the other half cleaned out, fed and watered quail and chickens alike, I proceeded to start clearing the ever relentless weeds from the top section of the main plot. This process was rapidly sped up by the appearance of my husband part way through.

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A quick chat with Cliff has revealed that his beautiful exchequer leghorn cockerel has crowed and by doing so has bought his ticket to the farm (a local farmer collects cockerels and sells them on to breeders). Sad though he is about that he is excited about getting some more chickens to take his total up to the maximum of 12. This means that we may be able to snaffle an extra cream legbar to take our total up to 12…

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We returned to the chicken coop in order to turn over the soil. The top layer is absolutely drenched due to the rain in the last week but the soil is dry underneath, meaning that turning the soil over will assist in draining the coop. I have so spied that lots of other plot holders have got hold of bags of leaves – these would be ideal to put into the coop to aid drying. Now to find someone who knows where to get them and who would offer to collect them for us!

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The new coop extension is almost finished, just the last bits of fencing to put into place to discourage the fox scourge and sort out the new shed and base before decanting all chickens and quail into the new coop, allowing the soil to recover in the current side.

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Just before we left, I managed to catch a quail in the dust bath! They are very amusing to watch – apologies for the shakiness of the video but balancing on the balls of your feet is rather more difficult when you are 32 weeks pregnant… The technique appears to involve almost burying yourself in dust before flicking it up under your wings and shaking your body from side to side. I assume it is effective, I am not sure I will be trying this in my bath anytime soon!

The weather tomorrow is set to be similar so I plan to take full advantage by spending the entire day there – old plants need to be extracted and composted, sections of the bottom plot need clearing and hoeing and just as important is deciding where out mini orchard is going to go!

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