Spring innit

Someone very marvelous is following me on Twitter. Of course, I'm a gentleman and nothing would make me reveal her identity. Let's just say this person has a name made for lights and more than makes up for the dozens of snore-worthy "get a zillion followers overnight" business followers that attach themselves to most twitterers. Nothing, NOTHING will persuade me to divulge, so let's move on. Sorry bout that.



It's been a good month so far. Spring is here, I've lost that loafing feeling and the weather has been lovely enough to eat lunch outside these last few days. It's one of those things that make me me very happy. I'm also a bossman again - with a new team about to get busy here and at River Cottage. One of them is moving down from Dover or somewhere over that way I think. More of that next month when everyone's started. Hopefully the team will have bonded* by then.



The rest of this month will be taken up with preparation and planting. There's much to do but I'll take it nice n easy. It won't be the end of the world if it doesn't all get done, and there's no point in doing something stupid to myself. It'll all get done in the end.

I have just acquired a reciprocating saw (it wasn't made by Spear and Jackson) which I'm hoping will help me wade through the tedium of fencing. Some velvet morning I shall make a start on it. Think of me out there, sawing and bang bang banging with the hammer. I've also invested in some sensible footwear. Having spent too long digging holes while wearing wellies, I've got something sturdier - the shop assistant told me these boots were made for working and I hope she's right.



As for the plants, many are braving the frosts and not only leafing but flowering, especially in the polytunnel where the apricot blossom has already been and gone with the dwarf peaches (below) sneaking up behind. The plumcots are full on (top two pics), and although they are very young still I'm hoping they'll produce some to eat and some for summer wine. I've got 12 or so planted outside and other half dozen or so to squeeze into the forest garden but I should be able to find a place in the sun for every one. The ones outside, such as the Cornelian cherry (above), delicate as they look, seem able to withstand the worst of the weather well enough. You'd think the force on the flowers in the rain would batter the petals from the plant but most seem to cling on somehow.



I've been out with the soft painter's brush to help the pollination - there are bees, the odd butterfly even and more than a handful of ladybirds, but a little extra movement of pollen this time of year should get me more fruit when the hot weather comes.

So, much to do over the next fortnight or so and plenty more I haven't got round to mentioning, so do come back in a few weeks time to find out what's happening.



* I defy you not to lean back in your seat and whistle that corking, sweeping violin melody

Go to Otter Farm | by Mark D