In addition to the normal picking (raspberries and blackberries), today's visit to the Apricot Centre involved a bit of 'demolition'. (Or so Aidan called it.) I pulled all the plants growing in a section of the polytunnel. It was mostly a flower bed but had plenty of nettles, fennel and deadly nightshade. Then I dug up a patch of land that had been a flower bed outside. I used the pitchfork to turn the soil, wind up dead goose grass and chop down some nettles. I (bravely) attempted the quick-grab technique with nettles. Having already earned a few stings today, I thought, it's worth a shot to try. It worked. I was surprised. Even though I did it several times, I didn't expect it to work each time. I've got nettle stings on the insides of my hands (which I got while wearing gloves), on the backs of my hands and on my forearms. But none of them were from using my newly adopted quick nettle pulling technique.
Another new experience at the farm today involved a chicken (or a chook) and a glasshouse. One of Marina's chickens has escaped. It can fly and so it flies over the fence that's been put there to keep the chickens in. Aidan's put her back once, but after he saw her fly on top of the grapes, he thought no point putting her back; she'll only fly out again. I met her in the glasshouse. She's a lovely one, very clucky, which made for good fake conversation. She was making herself a little nest in the open dirt between the courgettes (zucchinis) and whatever's growing at the round-table end of the glasshouse and giving herself a dirt bath in the process. I was quite happy getting to know her and then she disappeared. Not sure where she went off to but I do hope to see her again.
Monday's my last day at the farm. I'm quite sad about that. I really have enjoyed my time there and I've learned quite a bit. I'm grateful to Marina for letting me come and to Aidan for educating me on everything from picking to planting to digging.