Posted by: hencorner | February 23, 2016

New Chickens, New Cheese…

New TrioWe’ve had a very productive Half Term…

Whilst the grass may still be damp, even waterlogged, a couple of days of fabulous sunshine over the last week has permitted a few good hours of work in the garden allowing us to keep ahead of the game, for now, as we welcome the fullness of Spring.

Our last post showed the developments in the Kitchen Garden, we’ve also now constructed a Poly Tunnel over one of the raised beds which is keeping the broad beans & spinach warm and dry – I must make sure that I’m watering them whilst they are protected from all the rain!

Fortunately, it was warm enough for me to checked the bees, they seemed to have ‘lost’ the food that I’d tucked into the hive for them to snack on over winter. I moved it closer to their nest and have been pleased to see them flying again on sunny days. I’m not sure whether they have visited the almond tree which is now is full blossom, I hope so as there will be no nuts without their pollination.

Whilst it has been dry, I’ve also planted both cranberries and blueberries, weeded the paths in the kitchen garden, and trimmed the lavender hedges. We’ve got a few events coming up soon here at Hen Corner and we really want the garden looking its best!

When it did rain last Saturday, I decided to indulge in some retail therapy and bought three lovely new chickens that should soon lay us a regular selection of pretty coloured eggs. Please meet (from left to right) Coucou, a Maran who should lay dark brown eggs, Persil, a Leghorn famous for huge brilliant white eggs, and Seuss, who should give us some green eggs to go with a slice of ham!

If you are interested in finding out more about keeping chickens, our Family, Feathers and Fun! course starts on Saturday 27th February and our Urban Hens – Keeping Chickens in London sessions start in May.

Camembert maturing

Whilst in the kitchen…

We’ve been brushing up on our cheese making skills!

We started making cheese a number of years ago with our good friend Rachelle from Australia and have decided to get back into the swing of it. We have been particularly pleased with a Camembert style mould ripened cheese that we make from organic full cream unhomogenised milk, that we buy from our friends at Abel and Cole. It takes a couple of months to mature, but is well worth the wait. Over the next week or so, we will also be making some spring feta cheese and a soft cheese coated with fresh herbs. We are hoping to sell these at our weekly micro bakery and are planning a cheese making course in the coming weeks. Do get in touch if you’d like to join us for that one!

On the subject of food and it’s production, we are hosting a Fairtrade Breakfast on Saturday 5th March to start the conversation on Ethical Food. It’s part of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight campaign ‘Sit Down for Breakfast, Stand Up for Farmers’, more info and tickets can be found here.

FFF SkylarComing up at the Corner…

As the days are getting longer, we now have regular courses, events, schools and corporate bookings here at Hen Corner. The next month or so sees Bread: Sweet & SavouryFamily Feathers and Fun!, Easter at Hen Corner and our exciting new Spoon Carving (Traditional Skills) course (with only a couple of spaces left), so if you’ve been thinking about trying something new, do get in quick!

 

Other News:

  • It was jolly cold, but we had a lovely time at the Fox Valentine Vintage & Craft Market
  • We’ve already collected nearly £60 worth of food from the garden this year
  • I’ve just discovered a couple of batches of frog spawn in the pond!

Jobs for this week:

  • Plan a schools lesson on Bees for 5-7year olds
  • Practise a new Italian Easter bread, Colomba Pasquale, similar to Panettone and shaped as a dove
  • Meet up with the other Bread Angels for a German Bread Class; think Pretzels, Bagels and Almond Easter Bread…

 

Have a good week yourself…Hen logo good

Join us on the Journey!

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