Ann's Farm Journal

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

Back with a bang!

Back with a bang!

Hello everyone,

Bob and I hope all is well with you. We began the Hexhamshire Organics New Year with a very positive start. A huge number of you, our lovely customers, ordered your boxes last week.

Regrettably, we had to close the website shop on the Sunday night due to the high demand. More than twenty, who had ordered after the shop closed, we decided you were able to receive a box. Unfortunately, we did have to stop at some point…those who didn’t get your box last week, your box will be delivered to you this week. Thank you for all your support, we were delighted to know that our produce was wanted.

So, we arrived back to work with a vengeance. The crew, Lucy and Graham, have started full of enthusiasm. We began by reading the annual plans and discussing the year ahead. Both crew members helped by adding to the pool of duties within the plans. Then it was down to the ground work. It was great to hear that, both Lucy and Graham, saw that some crops had grown while they had been away. They both quickly got into their stride and tidied the unwanted leaves, any crops which had not survived the weather were removed and laying more wood chipping along the paths. The tunnels needed some TLC, for instance during the freeze the irrigation had ‘popped’ the sprayers from the pipes. The sprayers were found and replaced. One overhead pipe will have to be replaced as it has burst. All tunnels will receive a thorough MOT over the Winter months. At the moment all tunnels are looking full and healthy, as you can see from the Giant Mustard Leaves in polytunnel four in the above picture.

The outside growing areas also had some attention. Having to contend with freezing conditions is bad, but, add into the mix strong winds and pigeons, then we see more trouble! The netting and ground covering which had been lifted as a result of the  winds has now all been replaced and secured. The pigeons are still around but the netting has been replaced and the birds will have to find food elsewhere…maybe the bird seeds I place in the feeders.

A week on Monday we are being assessed by the Soil Association. We have never been assessed during the winter months. The admin will be exactly the same as any other year. However, the outside does look and will feel totally different to the assessor. It is good that the farm is seen at a different time of the year. The assessor is the same individual as the previous visit.. Bob has comprehensively completed most of the paperwork…but there is a lot of paperwork to complete. Fingers crossed for us.

This coming Tuesday a young lady, who has been working on an organic farm in Scotland, is coming along for a visit. We hope we all get along nicely as, if that is the case, we have our full time summer season worker. 

The growing area we now cover warrants the extra crew member. There will be many more thousands of seeds to sow, then to plant out and all will need tending. The winter season is all about the planning and the preparation. So far we have the plan and the prep is well under way. All to grow more Fresh Local Organic Produce for you all to enjoy. 

So, I will get back to the plan and prep,

Till next week, take care,