Ann's Farm Journal

Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!

Annual Soil Association Review

Annual Soil Association Review

Hello everyone, 

Our 10th annual Soil Association Review took place last Monday and thank goodness the day went well. We are certified for another year. Thank you to Mark (our Inspector) for such a comprehensive review and .....well done to us as well. We very much regard our organic status as an endorsement that we are doing the right things. 

This week was yet another huge week for the box scheme…thank you for your support. The reviewer from the Soil Association was very interested in the reasons why you, our lovely customers, enjoy the idea of a Fresh Local Organic Vegetable Delivery. Whatever your reasons are, we are very glad you enjoy your boxes. Thank you for all the emails, messages and comments re the tasty produce you are receiving. 

On the farm, we are bang up-to date with the planting out. This is thanks to the Crew, particularly the lovely Lucy. We can honestly say that we have never been as organised as we are now. Everything we had sown during the end of the summer season is now in a polytunnel or outside in the Pond Field. There are lots and lots of organic greens, leaves, onions, oriental leaves, salads, brassicas, leeks, kales, cavolo nero, beetroot, carrots, cabbages, sprouting broccoli, cauliflowers, sprouts etc.

Our next big job…plant next year's garlic. We have saved many bulbs from this  season's garlic harvest. We are going to use our own cloves to create next seasons garlic. Apparently, a good top tip from Mark the Inspector, if we continue using our own garlic to produce each seasons fresh crop, we are entitled to name our own garlic after three years. Wonder what we should call our garlic? Hmmm? 

The Pond Field has now been cleared of last seasons beetroot (in storage), the sweetcorn rushes (composted), kale and brassica greens (pigs and compost). The Jerusalem Artichokes are being harvested as and when they are needed but the tops will also go into the compost bin. The boys (Graham & Chris) have been brilliant at organising this task. Space has been created for the garlic and for the coming new year and the next seasons plantings.

The compost bins are in constant use. Graham seems to have become the ‘composter’. He often asks “can I turn the compost?” Obviously, we say “yes”. We are never going refuse anyone who politely asks to turn the compost! We have huge compost bins, mainly because we have huge amounts of compostable stuff. Anyone who does compost will realise that the amount of greens which gets popped into the bin one day will have shrunk to next to nothing within three days. So, thank goodness we have lots of material from the tunnels and field to compost. Alongside all the greens we also put cardboard layers in the bins…the browns. The waste straw from the chicken houses also becomes a good layer of waste which composts.

This mixture of ingredients in the compost bins, decomposes for a very, very long time. They will be turned from one bin to the next bin, covered and left. The final result will be our own compost which we will use as a fine, top layer on our growing areas. The compost should provide nutrients to any growing crop. It should also help to create a much better soil as more beneficial organisms from the compost will hit the ground. All in all better fertility, better crops.

Generally, being a gardener really means taking care of your ground. If you take care of the soil by ensuring it is filled with the correct goodies - microbes, mycelium, worms, water, air, nitrogen and nutrients - the crops will thrive on these goodies. Then we will have a happy Bob delivering the tasty goodies the ground throws up (or down depending on the crop, if you know what I mean😉)

A suggestion…watch the film ‘Kiss The Ground’. 

Till next week, enjoy!