Digging dandelion roots last Friday in the cold and rain, the soil was perceivable warm – at last I can sow my carrot seeds in the garden and make a start on beans, squashes and courgettes in the green house to be planted out later. The temptation, especially when the season is so late, is to sow as soon as the warm weather arrives, but painful experience has taught me that it takes time for the sun to work her fingers into the frigid ground. Less delicate crops such as peas and broad beans are just emerging and my experimental planting of salad crops between the ridged up potatoes also seems to be going well.
Early yesterday I walked down to the lake to gather reed mace shoots and once again the gift of warmth, bestowed upon us by the sun was in sublime evidence. Rising from the lake were vast billows of steam which hung in the frosted air, smudging the first rays into pastel hues which set the shrouded copse aglow.
Steadily the hens are going broody, and they are secreted here and there sitting patiently on goose, turkey and chicken eggs. Hatching under broodys is my preferred method as they require no electricity and can do the job better than any machine.