Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
April is upon us with the Easter Holidays for schools and a long weekend off for most. With all this in mind, both Bob and myself will be delivering all your boxes by Thursday night this week. The odd few will be delivered on Wednesday but the vast majority will be delivered to you on the Thursday. You can the enjoy your Fresh Local Organic goodies while celebrating your weekend.
Easter is always a time for new beginnings with spring flowers, lambs and chicks all arriving. Here on the farm we have the beginnings of a new growing season. I say ‘the beginnings’ as we will have to wait a few more weeks for harvesting. But it is soooo good to see the start of fresh new crops…just look at the perfect baby spring cauliflower revealing itself in the picture above. This little one is in a polytunnel, with many more to appear. We also have more outside in the Pond Field. These will be a little later than the inside crop. However, all are good to see as they have been overwintering and growing very, very slowly. As the light increases and more warmth is created the plant growth speeds up which means that we can be rest assured overwintering was not in vain.
Lovely Lucy and Graham the Great have been amazing this week - yet again. Along with the spinach and kohlrabi, more shallots, white onions, red onions, spring onions and summer brassicas have all been planted out. Our empty beds are getting fewer and fewer. I cannot begin to tell you how many onions have been planted…thousands! and thousands!
The biggest pest we have when it comes to the new growth on shoots is the pigeon. They seem to hover and wait, watching while the little plugs are planted out. You can see them just waiting for us to leave so that they can eat the fresh leaves. They must think we are daft! Most beds are covered with netting, which allows the pollinators in but the butterflies out. This protects the plant from the birds too. However, the onions we do not cover with netting but we may fleece. We are also going to try a scare tactic against the pigeons…big yellow plastic balls with red scary eyes on them. We have not tried this before, we will keep you informed as to the results. Fingers crossed that the scary eyes work.
This is all wonderful…we have the overwintering crops arriving in the coming weeks. We have new crops being planted out for the coming months. We have crops in the ground which we are still harvesting. Some of these vegetables are coming to the end of their availability…the ‘hungry gap’ is upon us! Kales, cabbages, cauliflowers, leeks, some orientals, spinach and rocket are all nearing their productive time. We have enjoyed tasting them, but it will soon be time to move on (some may say thank goodness). The time between leaving the winter goodies and entering the delicious summer bounty is this ‘hungry gap’. We have a lot to look forward to shortly…radish, asparagus, fresh lettuces and mesclun, new brassicas, beans, spinach and rhubarb. Then June/July brings the fabulous tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, courgettes and broccoli with lots more leafy goodies. Then there is the soft fruit! All to look forward to.
The farm is coming alive again, out of the Winter doldrums. Not only are the growing beds filling with new life, so is the pond…frogs are croaking loudly. The moor hens seem to be wandering back towards the two ponds. The lapwing is swooping in the next door field and shouting that song of spring. We have seen or heard thrush, black birds, robins, jays, curlew, goldfinch, sparrows, wren and wagtail. Can’t wait to see the first swallows and blue tits. We are very lucky.
I am even luckier…our first Grandson has decided that when he grows up he wants to be a policeman, DJ or a David Attenborough. I obviously want him to be a David Attenborough. His new programme about our glorious islands is amazing…the patient photography is outstanding and adding Sir David’s voice and presence makes for a ten starred production. Catch the series if you have not seen it already.
Talking of stars…our two restaurants we supply have both retained their ‘Michelin Star‘ at Hjem and ‘Plate’ at Cookhouse. We congratulate both Alex and Anna for maintaining the high standards they keep.
At the farm, we are coming into a really busy time, so, we have a new starter…Esther. Esther begins her time here, tomorrow. She will be working for three days each week. We know Esther will fit right in with the Crew as they are already known to one another. It is also important to us that our Crew ‘get what we are trying to achieve’. Thank goodness we have no problems with any of these possible issues. In fact the Crew are always explaining to Bob and I about the research they have been reading online. What a great Crew!
What great customers too…I couldn’t leave you all out!
Thank you for returning all the boxes, it helps enormously.
Have a good week,