You may remember a couple of months back, our duck, Jemima passed away. Well, we have a new duck, thanks to our generous neighbour.
Seeing as the new duck was so like our original one we have decided to called her Jemima the Second. She is quite shy but gradually seems to be settling into her new home. Currently she and Nelson are hard at work finding slugs in the vegetable plot. Though Nelson does seem to prefer the poultry field and duck pond!
(Apologies for quality of photo, it was taken with my phone not my camera!)
Our duck Jemima was named after the wonderful Beatrix Potter character Jemima Puddle Duck, because of her habitat of trying to hide her eggs. Like all ducks she was at her happiest in the duck pond. She was a plucky little duck, not afraid to let herself be heard particularly if she was hungry.
With her mate Nelson she spent hours in the vegetable plot searching for slugs and other food.
We’ve had her for over six years and we will miss her.
Today Murtagh’s Meadow celebrates it’s first birthday. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for reading the blog. When I started blogging I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I have learned a lot in the last year. One of the best things about blogging though is making new blogging friends and reading about your journeys and experiences. So a huge thank you to you all.
In that first blog, I wrote about our two ducks. So in honor of today I thought I’d return to them. They get to spend the winter in the vegetable plot. While they may consume a good few worms they also do the service of ridding the garden of many of its slugs and snails. I find at the beginning of the growing season I have no problem growing tender leaved vegetables such as lettuce, but by mid-summer, particularity if it’s been a wet year, I have to abandon the idea. The ducks (Nelson and Jemima) are both getting on in years. So we’ve borrowed an incubator in the hope of hatching some eggs. In the next couple of weeks, the ducks will return to live in the field with the chickens from where they will also have access to their pond – so they’ll be delighted as they are currently using an old baby bath for bathing!
Finally, we have some new hens. We had hoped to get some Rhode Island or Marrams but for now, are happy to have four new hybrids.
We kept them in the ark for a couple of days till they got used to the new surroundings. Poor things had probably never seen a green field.
But now they are wandering about exploring and learning.
This is William, and he looks proud having got some new ladies to look after. They were actually pecking ever so gently at his feathers. Not sure if they were trying to preen him or just thinking he may be good enough to eat.
Even the ducks are happy, as all the rain we’ve had, has filled the pond up!
Today, after a few days of dry weather I am finally able to do some more weeding in the raised beds of the vegetable plot. The beds with the better soil are a pleasure to weed but those with the poorer soil are still very wet and the soils sticks to everything from hand trowel to gloves. I prefer hand weeding to deep digging. Firstly it is easier on the back! And secondly it disturbs less of the soil organisms which is one of the principles of the ‘No Dig’ method of gardening. Any worms I do dig up are greedily eaten by our two ducks! They get to spend the winter in the vegetable plot. While they may consume a good few worms they also do the service of ridding the garden of many of its slugs and snails.