Ann's Farm Journal

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

Chicken Run

Chicken Run

Hello everyone, 

First an apology…we use two dairies, one for milk and one for butter. Unfortunately, both have had issues with supplying their produce. You lovely customers who ordered milk had to have your fund’s returned. We did, however, manage to get an organic butter replacement which we passed on to those who had ordered butter. Acorn Dairy have apologised and said the issue they have maybe for a few weeks. We will watch their space. Till then there will be no butter available on the website. 

The Autumn Equinox happened this last week, however, I think the temperature has not yet plummeted and has made for some pleasant days. Lots of outside work can still be carried out without having to wrap up. We have had a good tidy around, the grass has had a good cut, lots of winter/spring season veggies have been planted outside and the boy crew members have been erecting an extremely large chicken run for our chickens.

The very large Chicken run is in a huge area of the Orchard Field. We need to place them into this run as we are creating more growing areas. The new growing areas are also going to be within the Orchard Field. The last thing we want is for the chickens to eat and peck at the organic vegetables growing. The new growing areas will be created as soon as the girls are in their new home.

One of Bob’s most prolific sayings is ‘this time next year’ (my very own Del’Boy!). But, as usual, he is right. We have always been better as each year moves on. This is due to our experience of knowing the land, having a great crew AND placing a lot of emphasis on creating good soil. Having good soil has helped us grow much better quality organic vegetables…if you had an organic cauliflower last week, what more proof do you need that providing good soil provides good food.

During the next two months we are increasing the amount of growing space by a further 15,000 square feet. We are doing this as our aim for this time next year is to be totally self sufficient and only providing our own seasonal produce. What the soil and season produces is what we will be providing. As an example this will mean that, during the winter and spring seasons, we will not have tomatoes or cucumbers. We want to be totally a ‘seasonal provider’. Hence, we need more growing areas to allow for an increase in the seasonal organic fruit and vegetables. 

Another big change for Hexhamshire Organics is that we are no longer going to attend Jesmond Food Market (or any other markets). The reason for this is that we want to spend more of our time on the land and focus our efforts on growing more and better produce. This is going to be more important as the amount of land we have under cultivation increases. 

The future maybe looking a little difficult (fuel, carbon dioxide, drivers, food!). However, choosing to have your fresh, locally sourced, organic veg box delivered in an electric van may make life a little less complicated AND you can consider yourself helping to tackle the climate change issue. Eating more fruit and veg is obviously a good healthy option. You can also help to reduce the amount of food wasted. When you place your order for a box - we harvest only what is ordered. Admittedly, we do have some crops which are not ‘perfect’ -however, these are not wasted or creating emissions (the statistics say that 10%of emissions come from food waste and about one third of all food produced is wasted. Shocking!). We have pigs who eat the greens and compost bins to help create more good compost. Mother Earths cycle begins…good soil creates good crops, any waste creates more good soil.

As an aside but of note here - whoever does the stats have said that food waste fell by around 40% during lockdown. We made shopping lists, prepared more meals and generally became more aware of our food and where it comes from. This is the future. 

Take care,