Community Fund – Howden Clough Cooperative Farm – January Update

2017 is now well underway and it’s hard to believe that Spring is almost upon us. The Avian influenza outbreak has continued to restrict many of our plans with regards to breeding our poultry. We have not yet had confirmation of an end to the quarantine; however, we are hoping that come early Spring time, an end will be in sight. In the meantime, we do our best to keep our birds as comfortable and happy as possible with netted barn doors which let natural light and air in. 

In the spring, we can start incubating our duck and chicken eggs. We are really exited about our mandarin ducks which should lay their first batch of eggs this year. They are one of the most colourful species of duck; especially the drake.

One of our goals this year is to provide small incubators complete with fertile eggs to some of our local junior schools. This experience provides magical moments for the children to observe the beginning of life. Through watching the eggs hatch, candling them every few days to see the unborn chicks progress in the egg and observing the chicks as they grow; the children develop an understanding of life processes. 

Even though we are struggling with adverse weather conditions, (extremely wet and cold) we have started to plan what we will grow in our poly tunnel and raised beds this year. So far, with the help of our heated porta cabin, we have started to sow Habaneros chillies (they are very hot), tomatoes, broad beans, onions , cabbage, and cauliflower. I’m sure the list will continue to grow over the next few weeks and we look forward to some bumper crops later in the year.