I had a little helper in the polytunnel this morning.
Mother Goose the Hyline hen is on her last legs. I actually think she has had some sort of mild stroke as she went from being perfectly healthy to not seeing and not being able to walk properly in the space of one evening. Over the past few days she has been slowly getting back the use of her legs and is no longer missing her step and falling over as often as she walks.
Putting a few wriggling little worms in front of her got her instincts going again this morning and apart from perking her up a bit with the relative warmth of the polytunnel and a few high protein snacks, it showed me that her eyesight has also improved greatly. Unfortunately she has the hunched over stance that most chickens get when they are convinced their time is up.
Oh well she is another hen that has had a brilliant life and if I can spend a little bit of time with her and make her feel better before she goes then so much the better.
I was in the polytunnel with my little companion for a mass seed planting marathon using my favourite method ... planting in toilet roll inners. Myself, my Mum and Mary from next door all save them through the Winter, flattened and banded in big bunches they wait for planting time.
Then they are cut in half ...
... and placed forty to a tray.
Then filled with sifted compost.
I use a mix of general purpose and John Innes fine seed compost in a 4/1 ratio for good seed germination and to keep costs down. Then I sow one or two seeds per tube and water well.
Once the seedlings are strong and well rooted the whole lot, cardboard tube and all is potted on into a small plant pot or later in the year I plant directly into the raised beds either in the polytunnel or out on the hillside. With lots of watering and rain outside the cardboard inners soon disintegrate and are absorbed into the soil.
It's very cold here at the moment and these pictured courgettes have suffered a little bit as a result, even in the polytunnel. They are currently back under a plastic cloche to help them warm up and hopefully survive. They were lusciously green and healthy only a few days ago.
It's proving to be a very strange Spring, the hills opposite were absolutely white with snow and hail first thing this morning, and we have had on and off hail showers and heavy rain all morning, not good for a grower with itchy to get on with things green fingers!!