Busy Bank Holiday Bees


Bank Holiday weekend has been pretty busy at the Smallest Smallholding. With all the rain and mirth of the past few weeks and million gazillion other things that need doing around the place, parts of the Smallest Smallholding are looking very scrappy and unloved. But this weekend I’m trying to change that. We’ve started putting the glass back into the greenhouse (and have now found we’re a massive 8 panes down, so will be getting those on Tues), levelling out the ground around there and then sorting out the pitted ground around the crab apple. The hens have been digging out great trenches and the birds in the tree have been dropping the sunflower hulls all over the joint, so I’ve been trying to make it look just a little bit more pretty and clean.

I gave the crab apple another haircut today. Just a few branches here and there, so it looks a bit more balanced. However we’ve been talking about getting a ‘Green Skip’ a bit later on in the autumn, as there is a lot of pruning to be done at the Smallest Smallholding and nowhere near enough space to compost it all down, even when chipped or shredded. Hedges, trees, buddelias (bee and butterfly magnets) including a 20+ year old specimen with a TRUNK (yes – trunk!) circumference of about 5′ that needs some serious pruning, as well as a bionic dogwood that is threatening and to engulf and destroy all that lays in its path. So that’s a huge job on the cards for autumn. Lots of hard work but well worth it in the end – much more useful space!

For all concerned, Pattie is doing much better – thanks for the comments. She managed a full (thin, but full!) egg today – we’ve been holding back on the fruit and pasta and giving them boiled eggs, shell and all. Seem to have lost the Poultry Spice but we’ll buy another lot next week. After a dodgy egg yesterday, Yoko on the other made 2 unsuccessful trips to the nestbox today. She’s had a spot of projectile diarrhoea (lovely) but I did notice she’d been munching on some fallen damsons, so I wonder if they’re partly to blame. Hopefully tomorrow morning she will have laid again. She does very large rotund brown speckled eggs that always manage to draw some sort of exclamation from both her (she has to let half of Bedfordshire know that Yoko Is Now Laying Her Egg) and the recipients of her eggs (“good grief! would you look at that!”).

So busy, busy – nothing spectacular happening, more of a prolonged tidy up job over the next few days. Then I’ll probably have to start on my Smallest Smallholding Winter Plan. It’s still formulating but I will soon have updates and full briefing on The Plan.


  1. Lovely to hear that Pattie is laying again. I can just imagine Yoko’s noise as she lays. What do you do with your crab apples?
    Sara from farmingfriends

  2. Thanks – Pattie laid another proper egg today, so she seems to be doing OK at the moment! My crab apples are currently sitting in the wheelbarrow – because they’re a mixture of half that fell from the broken branch and half that were already rotting, I’ll probably leave this lot.

    The ones that are left on the tree might be used as a sort of “filler” (lots of pectin) for some jam recipes or something. I’ll probably do a post about it a little later on when I’m feeling a bit more decisive! 🙂

  3. So pleased Pattie has laid another properly packaged egg.

    I noticed out crab apples are starting to drop – will they go on the compost or be made into jelly? Still deciding.



  1. […] looking back to almost a year ago, apparently we were Busy Bank Holiday Bees. This Bank Holiday weekend, so far I’ve been up for an hour and a quarter, it’s well […]

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