Wednesday, October 23
Today started chilly but as the sun came through it became quite warm and we all worked outside without coats. After picking the last of the apples, which we’ll lay out on trays in a cool, dry place, I decided I simply had to tidy the flower garden. I know it is vitally important for us to grow our own food at this time, but I cannot bear to see my once flourishing garden deteriorate. The lawns are still growing and we cannot spare the petrol to mow the grass, so I must accept that they will be shaggy carpets from now on, but I can at least weed the beds and mulch and rake up leaves. The cosmos and michaelmas are still flowering and looked so lovely in the sun I felt quite cheerful.
Martin and Stephen heaved barrow loads of compost from the heap to dig into the new vegetable beds, then decided to clean out the hen shed and add the poultry manure to the heap. They think it would be a good idea to collect some of the sheep and pig manure as well, but this too will have to be mixed and allowed to break down before it can be used. In the past we’ve usually had composted manure delivered by the sackful, but we can make our own just as well for now.
As it was so fine today, we had our main meal in the middle of the day and were able to cook outside on the barbecue. It was hardly the kind of food we used to have before this all happened and we did find ourselves reminiscing about steaks and pieces of chicken, but we enjoyed our bacon, eggs and mushrooms very much. And as we have so many apples, we had some stewed with raisins and honey.
All the hens laid well today and I collected six eggs.