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The 21st Century Good Life?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Say Hello to... Velcro



Velcro is our cat who likes to watch the chickens (a lot!!) and wrestle with Toaster. He is 1 year old and he is a real softy, he used to get beat up by another feral cat in the area but we haven't seen it for 4 or 5 months, so we hope its gone for good. At least we wont have to go to the vets so often to get him patched up.
Velcro likes to poo in newly dug beds and is adept at destroying seedlings - a useful skill for a cat who belongs to a gardener.
He is a really chilled out character who likes to be at my side when Im gardening whatever the weather and since we have had him there have been no more signs of the rat at the compost heap :)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

DEAD CHICKEN!!



This afternoon a friend of mine (Chris) who helps me sometimes went down to paint the chicken coop while I was at a job interview and found one of them dead by the chicken run. The only mark on it was a small (1cm) cut on the shoulder where the wing joins its body. Chris also keep birds including chickens and he thinks that it died because of the shock of the attack. I thought because either Chris or myself would be around I would let them have the garden to themselves.
Velcro (the cat) is not a suspect because he was inside all day long and unless he can unlock and open a door then he's not to blame. There was a feral cat in the area a while back which attacked velcro on a few occasions but he had been away so long I thought he had left for good. But why would he leave the bird? - it was only a 4 months old bantam so it wouldn't be too big for him.
On closer inspection there were small cuts and scratches on the birds legs which only adds to the mystery.

I think from now on I will have to be on constant watch if they are out in the garden.

The one that died was one of a pair which my girlfriend called Jimmy and Choo (circled in the picture above - click to see a bigger pic), we never knew which one was which - so the decision has been made to call the dead one Jimmy. We were quite attached to them because we bought them as fertile eggs and hatched them ourselves.

R.I.P. Jimmy. July '05 - November '05 :(

if anybody has any theories email donmcfeely@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

First order of the year.

I ordered my potatoes Epicure (early) & Golden Wonder (maincrop) today, along with garlic. This year I am going to try growing the potatoes in containers and my main container will be the bath from the house. Not whilst it is in the house of course :) I'll be taking it out soon because of the renovations and I'm sure I'll find a suitable place for it so that the spuds can be put in it.
I'll be putting the garlic in as soon as it arrives so I'll have pics of the *new raised beds * I'm trying out this coming year with the garlic in them.

donmcfeely@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Save money... and the world!

Thats a catchy title if i do say so myself ;) I thought I'd have a little bit in the blog every couple of days with a suggestion of how to save money whilst caring for the environment at the same time.
I thought I'd start with the obvious one first which most people on A4A will be doing...

GROW YOUR OWN FOOD
Simple really but not a lot of people do it because of various excuses - no time, no space, don't know how to - the list is endless.

Its easier than a lot of people think to get reasonable results. Okay if you want trusses and trusses of perfect tomatoes its a bit more work but if i can do it anyone can. I got 80 tomatoes from one plant the first time I tried growing tomatoes. Fare enough i only had one plant but its a good way to start.

A handy hint which people dont always think about when growing their own food is - only grow what you like to eat.

It also means that your broccoli hasn't came from Italy or your strawberries from Israel - thus saving the environment from harful emissions from aeroplanes and delivery trucks.

And you can be sure what chemicals have been sprayed on it - NONE!

Even if you only grow 0.05% of the food you eat per year its more than the 0% of a lot of people. Everyone doing a little bit can make a lot of difference.

donmcfeely@gmail.com

Say hello to... Toaster



Toaster is the baby of the family. He is a cross between a jack russell and a pom with possibly some corgi in there - according to the vet. We dont know for sure because he was an unplanned pregnancy for the family we got him from. This picture (sorry about the quality) is when he was 8 weeks old, he is now around 14-15 weeks old and a bit bigger. We love cats and dogs (which doesn't always benefit the garden) but we couldn't say no when we saw him for the first time.
He loves eating:

- the cat's (Velcro) food
- the other dog's (Bracken) food
- shoes
- his blanket
- the cats ears

and sometimes my hand. I think you get the idea.
Tomorrow I will have Say hello to... Bracken. And on Thursday Say hello to... Velcro. With possibly a Say hello to... The Chickens!

donmcfeely@gmail.com

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Renovation Begins!



As you can see from the picture the foundations for the extension have been dug and filled with concrete. Bricklaying should begin (according to the brickie) middle of this week... hopefully. I priced Geothermal Heating for the house when i was getting the building work priced but I didn't expect it to cost £8500! I decided to wait until i win the lottery to get it along with the yacht etc ;)

A New Day, A New Blog

Hello everybody! this is my garden and my house at the left of the picture. im getting it renovated at the minute (pics to follow) you'll be able to see the polytunnel in the distance as well. I had my first stab at veg. gardening (and chicken rearing) this year and learned a lot - i.e. it isn't easy!
I'll be posting here every day - to keep you up to date as well as a reminder for me as to what I done and when.
Im in work now (dont tell the boss) so I'll post new pic here later on. If you want to see a better quality version of the above pic please click the image and it will open in a new window.

feel free to email suggestions or questions to me at:
Thanks!