The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Good things and bad things that begin with a C

Photo: Caroline's shot of chick peeping out (all rights reseved)

Photo: Caroline's shot of chick peeping out (all rights reseved)

Caroline sends photos of our leghorn chicks regularly. They are always a joy as she is such a good photographer. And we are getting to know our chicks well, albeit at arms length. The best thing of all is that Caroline and Kevin hand rear their chicks. I’ve only cuddled chickens when they have been sick I’m really looking forward to being able to pick up the young chickens when they arrive. These are good things.

Meanwhile we have been experiencing bad things beginning with a C. First of all our cucumber seedlings have succumbed to some sort of fungal infection. They have hung on with their first two leaves growing big but with no other growth.

I’ve always suceeded with these and invested in Unwins Long Crop (F1 hybrid). The same as last year. At £3.99 for just six seeds, I was hopeful. They germinated and the first leaves developed a white bloom. For the last two months these initial leaves have grown and curled. Today they were finally chucked out and replaced with two all female plants – Futura (bought at great expense from a local garden centre). I couldn’t bear the thought of a summer without home grown cucumbers. If you have any idea about what went wrong please advise.

Another faulty C is the cord that is the power cable from the plug to the laptop. This split and has been iffy for months. Generally a smart tweak and a sparkler type fizz has got things back to full power within seconds. The night before last the cable split. It didn’t breath again when I carefully attached cable to cable.

After a breath taking hour I fixed this with our new soldering iron.

There is just one more problem beginning with C. My laptop is crashing every 20 minutes or so. Hopefully I can get this post up before it does it again!

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  1. amzichick100

    i know its not particuarly helpful, but things generally go in 3’s so you should be ok for a while now! good luck with the laptop though!

  2. casalba

    Had to comment on that stunning photograph.

    Wish you good luck with the computer. The advice about updating has worried me a bit because I just didn’t get on with Vista and have gone back to my old XP. My advice would be: if all else fails wait until MS bring out the next generation – shouldn’t be too long.

  3. Katy Vic

    We also had a complete failure this year with our first sowing of (outdoor ridge) cucumber seeds – but they were old seeds left over from last year (or possibly even the year before).

    Blaming the poor germination on the age of the seeds, we replaced them. Even with brand new seeds we have managed to sprout only 5 out of 8 seeds, and the plants which did grow are languishing on their first true leaf.

    All the other squash-type stuff has romped away, but not the cucumbers…

  4. rebecca

    we had a little bugger eat our cucmber seeds!

  5. My cucumbers never even germinated despite my green fingers. Like you I too will have to resort to getting some young plants from a nearby GC as shop bought ones are so tasteless in comparison.
    The photo of the chick is wonderful – just been out to see if my girls have laid on this lovely wet day – they all look like drowned rats!

  6. kate (uk)

    Sounds like good old fashioned mildew on the cucumbers- the air has been very dry and there is a lot of it about albeit very early this year.Likewise woolly aphids-yuk!

  7. mandi

    My other half has a ‘side’ business in pc repairs and web design and we have been swapped with work this past week with blue screen lappy’s and repeat crashers, all due to a micro soft update that went live this week. I don’t know how old your laptop is but basically anything over about 12-18 mths old is not compatible with one of the usb drivers in the service pack for windows xp…just a suggestion if you have recently done updates.

  8. That is good advice – I might get one and give our router a blast…

  9. If your laptop keeps crashing after 20 minutes, it could be overheating due to a build up of dust in the air vents. Get one of those aerosol air blaster things (can’t remember what they’re called!), remove the battery from the laptop and blast the air vents and anywhere else that dust bunnies are lurking. This should solve the problem.

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