Friday, 2 January 2015

Walking, Digging And A New Years Eve in A Village In Kerry

We met an old friend at Cork Airport last weekend.  Here's a photograph of a bronze statue of Jack Charlton we saw at the airport.


I think the statue is incredible and it's made of bronze.  I use to do a lot of Coarse fishing when I was a lot younger.  I think the bronze encapsulates the joy of catching a fish.

On Monday and Tuesday we went walking along parts of the Sheeps Head Peninsula.  The road sections were relatively easy going.  Rather like the passing motorists.  They always wave to passing motorists and walkers in Cork and Kerry.  The hilly paths away from the tarmac were a different kind of fish?  They were hard going and we slipped a few times on the peaty grass paths.

We walked 17 miles in two days and I managed to damage the back of my knee slipping and sliding.  At least I remembered to take my Buplex tablets with me and they helped to take down the swelling and relieve the pain.

I have started to dig over the veg plot for next years spuds and swedes.  This time I am digging a foot deep trench and removing the soil and filling it with strawy farmyard manure.  It's hard work.  So I just do a ten foot section at a time.  It's fine today so I will do a bit more it the ground is dry enough.  If the soil is sticky.  I will have to leave it.   Last year I just spread the manure on top of the soil.  But the worms didn't take it down quick enough.  So some of the straw started growing and gave me a weed problem.  I think cow manure is a cold manure and a lot of weed seeds don't get killed off.  My dad used to say it only takes 3 months for a veg plot to become overgrown.

We went up to Kerry for New Years Eve and stayed in a little village off the tourist map.  It was the first time we had been in any of the pubs and the landlord of the first one made us very welcome and shook our hands.  Such a nice gesture and it's nice to be made welcome.    We had a few pints and listened to a one man band playing a keyboard and an electric guitar and singing Country And Irish songs like Johny Cash: '"Walk The Line" and old favourites like the "Wild Rover."  A good night was had by all and it was good to get away from the emotional baggage of the family farm.  Hope you had a great New Year!


28 comments:

  1. That is a problem with cow manure, seed heads don't get digested, ( hence feeding them clover seeds to stitch in the fields) if you could get hen manure to add to your dung heap it would help raise up the temperature, or build the pile as high as you can and cover it with black silage cover to build up the heap. We try to keep to the no dig system covering next years area with compost and then silage cover as soon as the previous crop has been harvested, by the time planting time has come around again the worms have done their job and the soil is warm to giving the new crops a head start.

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    1. Hi Anne and happy New Year. Yes you have said on your blog about using black silage plastic. I think the silage pit plastic sheets are far better than the plastic from round silage bales. Thanks for the manure advice.

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    2. Happy New Year to you and yours Dave.
      Yes, the stuff we use is silage cover meant for silage pits or clamps, the other stuff comes on big rolls and is wrapped around and around silage bales, it's also quite thin, it's the stuff you often see littering the country side because the farmer can't be bothered to collect it up and dispose of it properly. Unfortunately silage covers here come pre- cut, often far too big for a small garden use, in Spain it was sold in several different widths by the metre, much easier for the smaller garden. We use black silage covers as being black it heats up the compost underneath far better than cardboard or old carpet, and as you said, carpet often has harmful chemicals in it, stuff that you would prefer not to have if you are growing veg.

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    3. One thing I don't like about black plastic is the way that slugs and snails live underneath it. They are also found under wooden planks or concrete paving slabs.

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    4. That's all to the good Dave, you know where they are and you can collect and dispose of them, black plastic is also a good place to find their eggs so you can get rid of the eggs before they develop.

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    5. Good way of looking at a pest problem Anne. Never thought of plastic being collection points for slugs and snails. Thanks!

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  2. I like the sound of the pub, the pints and the music :o) Veg patch sounds good too- M does ours here, we get the local young farmers to deliver manure which seems to work well. Happy new year to you all.

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    1. Happy new year to you and your family CT. We live over five miles from the nearest pub or shop and we don't have much of a social life. There is no public transport and taxis cost too much both ways. It was good to sample a friendly pub with cheerful New Years Eve revellers, good porter and the music was pleasant. It's good to hear you grow your own vegetables CT.

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  3. Am wondering if black bags over the area and then leave it fallow and the summer heat will kill anything in there.

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    1. Hi Sol. Think the black bags would work if you could hold them down with bricks or wood or they would blow around. I have used corrugated iron sheets and old (wool) carpets to mulch the manure and ground. I believe modern man made fibre carpets contain fire retardants and they can leave you with a chemical soup in your veg plot. Happy new year Sol!

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    2. My Cousin says stick the chickens on the area and let them have at it. They will scratch the heck out of it all. and then burn the soil to sterilise it. a big bonfire. its alot of work but the only way to kill the seeds. you also get to burn carp wood you cant use in the fire. ;)

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    3. Hi Sol. I have read of using chickens and pigs to clear an area of the veg plot. I have often spread wood ash and soot on my onions. It's full of potash.

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    4. I was talking more of burning the soil to clean it of seeds etc.

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    5. Yes I have seen flame torches used to burn off weed seeds, Sol.

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  4. Happy New Year to you and yours Dave!

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  5. Happy New Year Dave and thanks for dropping by. I'm impressed with your walk, just what you need to blow the festive cobwebs away. My allotment is very overgrown as I hurt my back last year and was unable to give it the attention it needs, your Dad was right, it is so easy for it to become overgrown. I think I will give it up soon and let someone else enjoy it. We found chicken manure amazing for our crops.
    Your New Years Eve celebrations sound great, you can't beat a few pints and a few choruses of The Irish Rover to make you happy :)
    Twiggy

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    1. Happy New Year Twiggy. Sorry to hear about your hurting your back. Get yourself an Azada. Chillington tools make one called the crocodile. It's great for clearing vegetation and easy on your back. They use them in Portugal. I have bought chicken manure from Aldi and it was excellent. The Irish Rover is a classic with a pint or ten. Thanks!

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  6. Happy New Year Dave and hope the knee is soon better! Man U had a pretty good Christmas, with Arsenal having a major slip up at Southampton. Still it's only football and everything else is all right.

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    1. Hi Rachel. Yes I think Mr Wenger needs to get out the cheque book Rachel. United are drawing too much too. Happy New Year.

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  7. Glad you had a good New Year, and here's hoping that 2015 turns out to be good'un for you and your family. Vx

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    1. Same to you both Vera. I always enjoy reading about your smallholding adventures in France.

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  8. Amazing where these bronze statues turn up, we've got a few locally.

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  9. Yes Cumbrian they are brilliant works of art. Are your statues famous people? Thanks!

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    1. No, they're of working men, miners, fishermen, etc, of days gone by.

      Wish I could get a pic, but don't know how to get a pic on here, my kit can probably do it but I'm a bit lacking in computer expertise.

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    2. It's good that you have statues depicting working class people. So often statues are of rich industrialists.

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  10. Happy New year dave. Tackling a digging job a little at a time is the way to go but like yours some times pur soil is just too sticky.

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    1. Happy new year Kev. I managed to get a good bit of the veg plot dug over on Friday. Then it rained and the soil is sticky again. We might get some frosts that will make the soil crumbly and kill off any nasties. It's frustrating when you can't get on the plot and do some digging.

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