Since moving here and joining the social media community of smallholders, we have 'met' lots of people who are working to achieve the same as we hope for - to live a better quality life, working with the world around us and provide us with some food and an income. We've also been lucky enough to actually meet up with a couple of people and today we took a trip out to see Helen who visited us earlier in the year.
Helen had kindly offered to lend us some flexible chicken fencing, the type that can be electrified to protect chickens from predators (ground creatures at least, flying predators not so much). We want to enclose the kitchen garden while the young plants are in it, so that the ducks can't gorge themselves on our precious plants leaving us without food at the end of the growing season. We don't need to electrify the fence as the ducks seem to respect the fencing and although he sometimes pushes his head through the gaps to see if he can get through, he soon gives up and goes back to dibbling in the ground. His interest in the chickens never seems to wane, but luckily he can no longer get into their area of the paddock.
Over time I will create a wooden fence around the raised beds to enclose the kitchen garden, but we need to keep the ducks out now, so this morning we drove to Helen's smallholding about an hour away to collect the loan fencing. Her home is in a stunning location with amazing views, if a little windy as she lives even closer to the coast than we do!
Almost a week ago, her sow gave birth to a litter of piglets in the wood on her smallholding. Helen offered for us to walk up to the wood to see the little ones, but aware that I am not feeling 100% at the moment, we said that we'd go back when it wasn't so cold or liable to throw hailstones at us. You can read about life on Helen's smallholding at Valerie Chicken.
With a van full of flexible chicken fencing, we headed home via our local town to pick up a few bits and pieces. It's my sister's birthday next week and I'd like to take her birthday card and gift to her over the weekend as she is away for most of next week. So we went to the post office, which is located within a shop that has a really good selection of cards and chose her a suitable card. We popped into Waitrose to buy her a bottle of wine and something sweet. I was disappointed to find that Waitrose didn't have any Revels (my sister's favourite chocolate), but it did have some Clarnico mint creams, which will be enjoyed just as much.
Back at home, we are catching up on chores and will tackle putting up the fencing tomorrow.