Time flies when I'm having fun and Organic College is certainly a colourful place to be. The weeks are filled with many things; classes in crop production, crop protection, soil science, communications, marketing, woodwork, technology and so it goes. We spend some time in class taking notes and talking and lots of time outside digging beds, weeding and preparing the ground for planting.
On Monday we had a visit from an adorable gent who is a beekeeper. Andy has been working with bees for 27 years and he brought us in a beehive, sans bees of course and told us as much as anyone could about bees in a few hours. The best bit of the day for me was getting into a bee suit and getting up close and personal with our buzzy friends. No proper photo though, sorry. I was a bit freaked out at first, with the bees buzzing around like crazy but I found my happy place, as you must do around bees as they can smell fear and tension close to the hive. The smell from them was heady and intoxicating and their vibration is quite intense. Incredible creatures, we need them so much more than they need us.
Sinead and Maggie with the green manure seeds
We prepared two seed beds with green manure for winter. This is different types of plants like rye and clover that will give nutrients to the soil over winter as well as breaking it up. The plants are then dug back into the earth. After scattering the seed we covered them with netting for protection.
I stopped to pick blackberries on the way home and made some jam.
Ian liked the jam a lot!
On a totally different note we studied some old farming tools and how to use them in Sustainable Development. Sickles and what not. Not into knives much me. Then we prepared some ground for spring planting by covering it with newspaper and pond weed. On Friday we got started on our crop projects. Each group has a crop to grow over winter and on to spring. I've chosen spinach and kale, as I love them so I'm interested. We will grow them using different techniques, organic and biodynamic and record everything along the way.