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Barn Transformation Project

Episode 3

Hello! Here's the latest from our project to transform the area around our Dutch Barn. But first a little snack.

As well as making changes to benefit wildlife and generally making everywhere look even more lovely, we're growing good things to eat. And they seem to taste even better when freshly picked.

This week as well as a bumper crop of strawberries, we also picked our first courgettes. Their amazing fowers are also edible.

And they can gow to quite a size. The one below was about 10 inches long!

And did you know they come in yellow?

And the tomatoes, lettuce, garlic, peppers, potatoes, and leeks are also coming on a storm.

Now if you've been following our progress you may be wondering when the pond we've dug is going to have some water and plants and wldlife in it. Well, we can't put the liner in until we have enough weighty objects to hold it in place around the edge. And these will help with the overall look of it too.

So we've been on the look out for more items to add to the tree stumps and the rocks we already have - not nearly enough given it's six metres by four metres. But now we're sending big thanks to our CEO Lesley for donating LOTS of rocks and for getting them to us - and thanks too to Rachael for her part in that. So we should be much nearer to our goal in next month's news.

Meanwhile back at the wildlife - we've been spotting some new residents.

And if you want to tell a moth from a butterfly look at the antennae.

As a general rule, at least here in the UK, butterflies have blobs (not a technical term) at the end of their antennae and moths don't.

We haven't been able to give this chap on the right a name yet but a cinnebar moth was also spotted recently. Too quick for a photo but here's one from the internet so you can see what they look like. Isn't it fab! And look no blobs!

Cinnebar moth - Photo by James Wainscot on Unsplash

And the first frog we've spotted - amongst the potato plants waiting for the pond to be finished. Hopefully we'll see its offspring next year.

To encourage even more creatures, specifically bugs, which are so important to the environment, we've created a new bug house and residents are already moving in.

A suggested name - The SnugBug Bunkhouse. We may even make a sign. It's quite a deluxe dwelling you know, with its own roof garden on the way.

And in other news - we've also had a training session on composting. And we're very grateful to Minna Alanko-Falola from Compost Works for providing a free session with all we need to know to create our own compost at Dutch Farm and at home. No more apple cores, vegetable peelings, tea leaves and much more going to landfill. We can recycle all of it. Hoorah!

Phew! After all that, we're off for a cuppa. Stay tuned for more next month.

With big thanks to Gail for the photos.

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