I have a small obsession with notebooks. I love them. I love tiny ones that will fit in my pocket and larger ones I can sketch in. I love blank ones and ones with grids of dots. Not so gone on ones with lines I must admit. Too prescriptive. Absolutely love ones with hand made paper. I love the feel of the paper underneath my fingers, the smell of a new book and the sound of the leaves turning. They might be too pretty to write in but I’ll take them anyway. Actually, this may not be such a small obsession. I think I may have a problem.
But surely every woman needs a decent notebook (or seventeen). I can hear Mr. Fairweather’s eyeballs rolling from here but I’ll ignore that. Besides, without a notebook, how would I keep track of my lists? There’s so much to do and so many ideas swirling around that I need to write things down to get it all straight in my head. And there are just not enough PostIt notes for the things that go on in my head.
So I am sitting down to make a list for August. Now making a list and ticking everything off from it are two entirely different things. In an effort to actually get things done this month as opposed to simply daydreaming about it, we’ll start with a list.
- Water the tomatoes everyday. Sounds simple? Never been done here before.
- Weed. Weed. Weed. I’m going to try and stay on top of the few raised beds and tunnel that I have. Then I can allow myself to think about expansion plans.
- Prune my fruit trees. Pruning now slows growth, allows fruit to ripen better, helps shape the tree and actually encourages more fruit next year.
- Prune my blackcurrant bushes. As currants only grow on last years stems, I’m planning on pruning any stems with fruits on them now. This also makes it easier on my back when I go to pick the fruit.
- Set strawberry runners into pots. I have six strawberry plants in the tunnel. The others outside were lost years ago to the weeds. I need to increase my stock if i’m going to have enough for jam next year.
- Speaking of jam, I should really be harvesting raspberries on a regular basis and freezing in batches to make more jam. Think I’ll make some currant jam as well.
- My Great Spud Experiment is over and the tunnel has been harvested. Between potatoes this year and tomatoes last, the ground is fairly depleted so I’ll sow some green manure seeds to rejuvenate it. As a bonus, the green manure should keep the weeds at bay.
- Sow seeds in modules for oriental greens and winter salads such as lamb’s lettuce, chard, winter pursulane, mizuna and spinach. I’m not sure where I’ll plant these out yet. They need fertile, weed free soil in a sheltered, sunny spot with plenty of watering. Not asking for much really, are they?
- Propagate rosemary, thyme and sage by semi-ripe cuttings. These will overwinter in the tunnel. I might go searching out someone with a bay tree that will let me take a few slips.
Feed the tomatoes. Going to use the juice from my wormery. It smells so disgusting that it must be fantastically good for the plants.
- Plant out broad beans.
- Spruce up the hen house and feeding containers. There are new residents on the way!
- Clean out duck house and get new pond rigged up. We don’t want the ducks feeling left out.
- Possibly the biggest job for August is to kill one of our drakes. Mr. Fairweather is going to despatch him and I’ll pluck, gut and cook. This will be my first attempt at this so I better study up. If we can do that, then I reckon we are real smallholders.
Gosh. That’s a lot of work lined up. Feeling a bit daunted but enthused at the same time. I’ll update you on progress at the end of the month. I’m off to sit down with a cup of tea now and let it sink in.