A new-born lamb at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason

Transplanting kale, building garden beds, welcoming new lambs and enjoying communal life.

We’ve been building the beds for the market garden, watching out for lambs, eating our first harvest and enjoying time together.

Transplanting kale into the market garden

  • Making a mini polytunnel at Henbant market garden (c) Rianne Mason
  • Kale seedlings at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason

Transplanting Kale and creating a mini mesh polytunnel for pest protection (c) Rianne Mason

It’s time to start planting our seedlings in the market garden and I have to say it felt great to get something in the ground – things are happening! That’s what’s I love about Spring – we get to sow the seeds of all our hopes and dreams for the year.

We’ve started with Kale as they’re fairly resistant to frost and we covered them with a mini mesh polytunnel to help to protect them against pests (which here is mainly flea beetle).

Building new market garden beds

No-dig beds at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason
Building no-dig beds (c) Rianne Mason

We’re also preparing all of the no-dig beds for future crops that will make up the veg boxes sold here at Henbant. They looked so soft and inviting I wanted to lay down in there myself.

We practice regenerative agriculture here which means building up soil, not depleting it. So we don’t dig the beds and we add lots of beneficial nutrients and micro-organisms. I’ve written a little more on this for my post Obtain a yield (with permaculture and regenerative agriculture).

Removing plastic from soil

Plastics in municipal compost (c) Rianne Mason
Removing plastic from municipal compost (c) Rianne Mason

I couldn’t help but notice the amount of plastic in the municipal compost that we use to top the beds with. It’s made from people’s house compost collected by the council, so it contains everything we put in our compost bins. I think we need to get better at it!

Maybe we need to make compost cleans as much of a movement as beach cleans?

Admiring the variety of shapes in seedlings

  • Nasturtium seedling at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason
  • Pea seedlings at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason

Nasturtium and pea seedlings (c) Rianne Mason

Checking the progress of seedlings is one of the highlights of my week. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a plant so sure of itself as the nasturtium! Right from the get-go you know exactly what it is.

Eating our first harvest

Radishes at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason
Radishes in the kitchen garden (c) Rianne Mason

Tina proudly presented us with the first radish of the year – hooray! We enjoyed a few in one of the many legendary salads we get to eat here. The pleasure of eating something home-grown never gets old.

Giving the ducks a vacation

  • Meryn and Nel with ducks at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason
  • Ducks in the pond at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason

Meryn and Nel giving the ducks a vacation (c) Rianne Mason

I opened my door one afternoon to find Meryn and Nel happily giving the ducks a little vacation in the small pond by the boat house. We’ve been looking after them from birth and they’re now big enough to go outside. They were pretty happy in their little swimming pool and I’m sure I heard them quack a thank you.

Meeting the first lamb of Spring

A new-born lamb at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason
The first Henbant lamb of 2021 (c) Rianne Mason

I got another surprise on my last day collecting eggs when I found this cutey with his mum in the hay. He’s our first lamb of the season and we’ve since had six more arrive this week. Spring has truly sprung.

Falling in love with Liqourice the sheep

Liquorice the sheep enjoying a scratch – In my head I have The Rolling Stone’s ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ as the soundtrack (c) Rianne Mason

Sheep have kind of been the star of the show this week at Henbant and I was lucky enough to capture liquorice on film. She’s easily the most friendly sheep on the farm and after spending a good five minutes stroking her face and fleece through the fence I may have fallen a bit in love with her.

Then she did this and I started an official campaign to keep her as a house sheep (yes Matt, I know it’s not going to happen…)

Picking up skills from our in-house chefs

  • Brazilian honey cake and apricot cookies at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason
  • Pasties with wild garlic soup at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason

A Brazilian honey cake, apricot marunchinos, pasties and wild garlic soup cooked by Jessica (c) Rianne Mason

I’m honestly in awe of the brilliant cooking here and I can’t wait to make the most of this skills-sharing opportunity. Just look at this beautiful Brazilian honey cake and apricot marunchinos! We even got to taste a wild garlic soup made with garlic foraged from the land – slow living at its best.

I feel like I’m in an episode of Chef’s Table!

Celebrating Jessica’s birthday by the fire.

Sitting around the bonfire at Henbant (c) Rianne Mason
Celebrating Jessica’s birthday by the fire (c) Rianne Mason

We ended the week with a bonfire to celebrate Jessica’s birthday and the good weather! It was a great way to bond a little with the team, get to know our music choices and hear a few stories. I also got to try a Welsh Whisky and I’m definitely a fan.

Visiting Henbant

henbant.org
For camping, glamping, veg boxes and getting involved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s