Companion Planting and other matters

I have to admit I am not a very scientific gardener. I tend to absorb huge amounts of information, then apply things a bit randomly while building on what works. I like the idea of companion planting and I have some charts somewhere but what I really like is when I can actually see the companion relationship working. I read once that the Native American people used to plant beans, pumpkins and corn together. The corn provided some support for the pumpkin and beans and they all shaded and sheltered each other. In our  very hot and usually dry summers I thought this was an idea that might actually work. In the heat of the summer our vegetables quite often "cook" on the vines. I planted climbing  beans on the trellis on two sides, rows of corn in between and pumpkins in the corner. It has become a veritable jungle. A happy and productive jungle. The corn is over two metres tall and loaded with yummy cobs, the beans have grown up the sides and over the top of the trellis, shading everything and the pumpkins have gone everywhere, in between the corn, up the trellis, over the top, through the trellis and spread over the lawn. Happy companions I think!

We spent such an interesting day yesterday. A friend of Peter's boss has a dairy goat herd she is downsizing. she has some goats she is particularly attached to and wants to go to a good home. Peter's boss breeds Boer goats, they are a meat goat, and I had told her I would like a dairy goat so she suggested these ones might be good for us. We went off to visit them and learn a bit about Dairy goats. We certainly went to the right place to learn and the owner was very generous with her time and knowledge. We both had a go at milking, harder than it looks of course. We loved the goats, they are just beautiful. We are going to get three, Elisabeth is the matriarch, I think she is a cross between British Alpine and Anglo Nubian, Genevieve who looks more Nubian and her daughter who is just number 88 at this point. We have a few things to organise here and then will get them. I'll go back for another milking lesson as well.
I have enjoyed goats cheese and yogurt for years but had never tried the milk before. You here so many stories about it being unpleasant, but it tasted great to me. I am sure we will use all we can milk.
While we were at the goat farm we got talking about poultry and the goat farmer said she had a different breed of ducks to us and some guinea fowls as well. I have been looking for guinea fowls for ages. She gave us some eggs of indeterminate age to bring home and put in the incubator. I was just in the laundry, where the incubator is, and heard chirping coming from it, lo and behold there is already a guinea fowl chick, the hens must have been sitting on them at the farm. wonder when the others will hatch! 


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