Nesting

We’ve been doing a lot of nesting since the pandemic started. Not in the traditional ‘preparing for a baby’ sense. But generally, in the sense of ‘suddenly we live in our house 99.9% of the time and we need it to look or feel or work differently’. Maybe it should be more like ‘feathering our nest’ instead of ‘nesting’? It’s too late now, I’ve already titled the post!

Chickens

Our chicken flock – or should that be ‘flocks’, technically? – are doing well. Team Rizzo, which comprises of five of the original bantams, have just had an extension to their run built. This means they now have 5 square metres in total (discounting free range time in the rest of the garden). Team Tiny, being all of the newest arrivals plus one of the originals, continue to do well in the big run.

Here’s a photo of Tiny with one of his favourite wives, Trenzalore.

Nesting: Tiny and Trenzalore

Both teams have a perpetual broody at any one time. Team Rizzo has Maeve. Long term readers will remember she was a champion egg sitter until they hatched, at which point she fled and refused to go back! Team Tiny is passing the baton between Oranges and Strangely Brown for some sort of relay broodiness.

None the less I still bring in an average of 3 eggs a day – bantam eggs, mind you. So that means an average of 1.5 normal size eggs a day! Today there were 5 in total. I know some friends will have some of them off us tomorrow, but I’m still going to make a cake in the morning I think.

The Garden, generally

I do feel that we’ve reached a real tipping point with the garden. We’ve achieved most of the big stuff, you know? The polytunnel is in, and we’re growing tomatoes and potatoes in it at the moment. The chicken runs are in their permanent positions. The main run makes good use of a previous patio site we had no use for and the secondary run sits nicely alongside it by the fence line. Even if we end up with fewer bantams eventually, we’ll keep both runs for rotation and quarantine, etc.

The pond has settled. We tamed the muddy areas with woodchip. I’ve nearly finished that path to the main run. The compost heaps are in. We’ve got a willow arbour up and growing. Over the last fortnight we’ve shifted in another 2 bulk bags of soil and put some floral raised beds along the outside of the polytunnel (nearly all pollinator friendly plants!) as well.

Nesting: settling into our garden

There is still work to be done. We’re planning a new shed on the concrete pad beyond the compost bays. The trampoline isn’t loved so much now that we have a teenager, but as for the climbing frame? I’m thinking of co-opting that as a frame for my own treehouse and swing den, thank you very much! We want to bring in a fire pit or a barbeque. So much room to play with ideas!

Nesting Celebration

But – and this is a big ‘but’ – but it’s also important we stop and celebrate how far we’ve come.

From this…

To this…

We’ve really made this garden our own over the last few years, and we’re starting to really love the result! And so is nature. We now have bees nesting where before we hardly saw any at all. The birds visit. And today we found a pigeon nesting in the self-seeded elder near the pond!