Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
Clocks have gone back
Bob and I hope you are well and have enjoyed the extra hour in bed. It does mean of course that it will be dark from 4.30 this afternoon. We now have to make sure that we are all cosy and indoors when it gets dark or we need to wear head lamps if we want to continue working!
The work and tasks carried out on the farm will now alter slightly. The biggest challenge we will have is to complete the daily tasks by the time the sun sets. For instance…the packing of the boxes can be completed later in the day, for the next day's deliveries as we have the lights in the packing area which enables us to see what we are doing. However, to be able to pack the boxes we need the goodies to put into the box. Harvesting the crops therefore needs to be well organised…no crops then no packing!
We do have plenty of vegetables which have been harvested and stored…potatoes, onions, parsnips, carrots, garlic, squash etc. Other crops, for instance celeriac, cabbages and leeks are kept in the ground until required. Once we know the amount required for the week, they are harvested and then prepped to ensure they are presentable.
The leeks, as shown above, come from the field in a very mucky state, especially after all the rain we have had and probably will have until next Spring. There is also plenty of extra greenery which is not needed. The roots are cut away, the outer leaves are removed, they are then trimmed to fit the box and finally cleaned of any other soil. All the excess is then placed into the compost bin. This all takes time and is quite repetitive. As the nights draw in…actually it is the afternoon which now draws in…we have to be a little earlier in prepping for the boxes which are to be delivered to you our lovely customers.
On the day of delivery, we tend to harvest the softer leafy crops. This may now take place, last thing, the day before delivery, unless it is essential to harvest on the day of delivery.
Then it is onto delivery, at this time of the year it may seem much later as it will now be much darker. Unless you hear from us, you will receive your box on the scheduled day.
But if for some reason or another our ‘delivery boy’ (Bob) thinks it is too late or it is easier to deliver on a different day then you will hear from us.
The polytunnels are now all completely full of crops for overwintering or for harvesting in the coming weeks. It is good to see all new produce growing…orientals, mustards, spinach, rocket, onions, kales, cavolonero, lettuces, mesclun, leaves and brassicas. A big job coming up will be to clean the outside covering of the tunnels. This will help to ensure that as much light as possible is available for the growing plants.
The outside growing areas are either still full of brassicas, roots and leeks or are being prepped for the garlic and shallots which are now ready to be planted out. The remaining beds will have a cover of weed suppression fabric. This not only keeps the ground ‘clean’ of any unwanted growth, it also keeps the ground warm, ready for planting into, come the Spring.
Just because all the beds are now occupied doesn’t mean that we can sit back. During the daylight time we do have many Winter jobs. We have a tick list of jobs already prepared.
Graham and Lucy have started jobs from this list. This week lots of shredding for the compost bins has been ticked off. The garlic has been broken down into cloves, ready for planting out into the Pond Field. The remaining parsnips and carrots have now all been harvested ready for storing. Farm life is a very busy life during all the seasons of the year.
Going to get back to it,