I think....it might be Spring! Since my last entry I have lightly dug most of the garden in preparation for planting. Since I was totally disorganised at buying the green manure on time (plants that grow overwinter and keep the nitrogen in the soil) mostly the soil was bare over winter, save for the autumn/winter veg. This means that in 2 beds I have allowed the nitrogen to be leached out through the soil over winter, the other had peas, and their clever nitrogen fixing roots that I left in after I chopped my peas down will have helped to keep the nitrogen in. On that bed I added some leaf mold that I made from the leaves collected on my drive last year. On the other 2 beds which are very sandy I have dug in some of my compost from the compost bin, which is now bursting with worms (great for the compost...not so great for me *twitch*). I discovered this when I opened the bottom hatch and 5 shiny red worms dropped out and squiggled across the concrete, "Naaaaath...heeeeelp!?".
Last Saturday I went to The Edible Garden Show it was a fun day out and I did come back with a few ideas and lots of tips on chickens. Worth going for the animal tent alone, it had pigs and goats and many different types of chicken (I wish I had room for a Orpington). I also came back with an Oak Paper Potter. These are very handy little tools allowing you to create 4 small paper pots from one sheet of newspaper (no glue or water required, just roll it round the roller and scrunch the bottom in the press), I have already made a nice tray full of pots to plant my seeds and seedlings into (as you can see above). I intend to buy the watering rose tops you can buy for old drinking water bottles (bottle top waterers) so I can water my indoor seeds without washing them away (how clever!). I've planted some lettuce and baby carrots seeds directly in the ground, but I do plan to start off as many plants as I can in mini pots to avoid early slug damage when the seedlings are too small and tender to cope with being munched, and so I can replace things as we eat them...that's the plan anyway!
Mushrooms are growing in my walk in wardrobe...brown closed cap, and intentionally of course. Actually they aren't growing yet, they have just had the casing layer added and I'm waiting hopefully. They're in the walk in wardrobe bit as it's an outside wall in there, and so much cooler than the rest of our terraced house, so a good temperature for shroomies.
On the chicken side of things, I had to show you this. Nessa laid us a mini egg a week or two ago, sadly it wasn't chocolate (shame) but it is freakily small. I thought chickens only laid this sort of egg when they were just at 'point of lay', but the web tells me this isn't the case. It's known as a 'wind egg' and can also happen to older hens. It's an egg without a yolk. An interesting site about abnormal eggs can be found here.
It's hard to imagine that last year in March the garden looked liked this: