The walnut tree was really late coming out this year but its doing really well now, and – we’ve got baby walnuts! They may be teeny weeny – but they are definitely there, with the little flowery tassles on the ends.

After our first hard winter for some years everything seems so much more vigourous this year. We had masses of dandelions in May, and now we have the most beautiful abundance of buttercups and red campion. Everything trying extra hard to produce as much seed as possible.

The buttercups are truly amazing, right way across the orchard at the bottom of the kitchen garden.

The kitchen garden has been completely destroyed by rabbits…again. I’ve replanted some organic runner beans and cabbages, squashes, sweetcorn and other orgnaic veg but its a bit late now for somethings to go in – maybe we should pack in growing organic veg and grow organic rabbits instead!  Frank is digging his potatoes already. It’s always a pleasure to walk his veg plot with him, his ‘estate’ as he calls it, all beautifully planted with flowers in between. Christine and I went to see him yesterday –  it was his 92nd birthday. I still managed to come home weighed down with 7 tomato plants and lots of cabbage, lettuces – even a few newly dug potatoes!

We plan to move the pigs this week. Esther, Maggie and Rose are coming down to this paddock in Step Orchard later in the year – we have built a temporary one in Home Field, next to the garden. We have a wedding at the weekend and I’m hoping that they’ll be settled in before people start arriving. I was hoping that Ben could help ( they love him!) but he won’t be here until Saturday. If nothing else -moving them should be *interesting* 😀 I had better arm myself with bananas (pig nectar!).

We had supper in the garden last night, it was lovely. John stuffed the little brazier with so many logs it was very warm and toastie, sipping wine and singing a few tunes along to the guitar. The new lights are so pretty, its very atmospheric.

My friend Ann (from school) is coming to stay with her daughter Beth this week, also we’ll be looking after my cousins two children, Georgina and Charlie, hopefully the weather will be good and we’ll can sit around the fire again singing songs. I took this pic with my phone (its a bit blurry but you get the idea).

We are going to trial some grape vines on the farm this summer, John thinks they will be good on this land, the soil is so fertile at Huntstile, it will grow anything – it will be great if we can make our own wine too. He was mooting around plans for a walnut grove as well….so watch this space!