KEEPING WARM IN THE GARDEN AS WINTER DRAWS CLOSER

It’s been chilly in the Genus garden this week, we think that autumn 2016 has probably arrived at last. The leaves have properly started to turn from green to their autumn livery and have begun to fall across the lawn. We have been outside braving the strong easterly breezes, making sure the lawn gets its last cut before (hopefully) we can pack the mower away. We also tidied up the vegetable garden, applied compost for overwintering and covered the raised beds until we resume work in the spring.

Keeping warm outside has been important. Our top tips for that are obviously to don our Genus gilet and accessories! The gilet, arm protectors, neck collar and a pulled down beanie have kept us snug enough.The other thing we enjoy that keeps the warmth with us, is to take a flask of soup out, so lunch and tea breaks are enjoyed outside: Homemade and home-grown Jerusalem artichoke soup at the start of the week and spinach today has kept us going and given us reason to lean against the stone wall, stretch our back, and take in the autumn scene around us. Hopefully we have built up enough garden trash to have a bit of a bonfire this evening, nothing better for a sense of autumnal atmosphere, and giving us a reason for staying out past sundown.

It’s also been time to think about keeping the Genus chickens warm too. Apparently a single hen generates about 10 watts of heat, and it’s a matter of capturing that inside the coop in a healthy way. So we cleaned the coop out, and then laid down new clean shavings in the form of a deep litter cover. There’s new straw in the laying boxes too, as these invariably end up as the hens' preferred roosting spots.

Let’s hope that the bedding down of the plants and the animals stands us in good stead for the weather to come.