Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
Heat Wave Coming
Ready for the heat wave? Be careful out there. Drink lots and wear a hat…listen to me, I probably do not drink enough and I rarely wear a hat. This week I may just take note of my own advice.
It is going to be very hot this week. We will be spending a lot of our time watering the crops. We have not had the rain which we require. Some rain is forecast for today, but only a thirty percent chance, so, probably none. Watering the tunnels is more simple than the outside growing areas. The tunnels, the fruit area and the greenhouses are all well organised for watering. The outside area, which now consists of - Pond Field, Orchard Field, The Paddock and the Well Field - requires more thought and a physical effort.
We now have such an expanse of outside growing, the number of sprayers with hose required has increased. We are getting more of this watering system, but this is taking a little time. In the mean time we are sharing the systems between each area.
I have spoken lots about The Pond and The Orchard Field growing areas…but we now have more of our land in use…The Paddock and The Well Field.
The Paddock is part of the Orchard Field. It is where the potatoes are growing. This is a new bed where we planted the potatoes directly into the ground which we have had covered with weed suppression fabric over the winter. As the potatoes have produced green foliage we have mounted up the lines of potatoes with the PAS 100 compost. Since then, the foliage has pushed up and out of the new compost. Our new crop of Fresh Local Organic Seasonal Potatoes will be available in the coming weeks. Some will be stored for over the winter months.
The Well Field (which was The Pig Field), now has 1,200 assorted squash plants in most of the field. We decided to use this field for the squash for a number of reasons. This is the first crop we are planting into this field. We have actually very lightly rotovated the ground. The ground needed levelling after the pigs had created a, somewhat, uneven field. So, we decided on the squash which will quickly grow and provide an excellent ground cover. This will prevent the grass and weeds from taking hold. Well that is the theory. This crop of Fresh Local Organic Seasonal Squash will be used fresh from the field and also be stored over the winter months.
The other outside growing areas are coming along in most areas. The garlic and shallots will be harvested in the next few weeks. Some crops are being used now, such as the salad onions. However, some crops are not doing so well and the Crew, Bob and myself are gutted! We have cabbage root fly in some of the brassicas. This tiny creature devastates the crop. We do not know it intends on causing damage until the plant just dies. At the moment we have lost kohlrabi, cauliflowers, summer cabbages and calabrese. To rectify this problem we buy nematodes. Nematodes are diluted into water and poured on to the infected ground. They are tiny worms which will eat the tiny bugs which are eating the roots of our crops. Bit late now for some of the brassicas, but they will help to clean the ground for future crops.
It certainly isn’t all bad, look at the beautiful flower from our crop of peas! The pea and sugar snap peas are looking amazing. They have been planted plumb in the middle of the Pond Field and they are looking luscious and the flowers are beginning to bloom. Not long till the sweetest peas are ready.
We are entering the season of abundance. Here on the farm we cannot wait for all the summer seasonal goodies. We start with the Organic Broad Beans. They are tasting delicious…ask the official taster -Bob our delivery boy! and the Grandsons enjoy them too…freshly picked from the vine. Bob and I are hoping that our very very new Granddaughter enjoys them in the coming seasons. Yep, yesterday we were delighted to see our first granddaughter and she is beautiful. We are blessed.
One final thing, in the Create Your Own Box you will see that we are replacing the photographs with drawings. Our very talented friend, Jenny, is an amazing artist and she is busy creating some amazing drawings of vegetables for us. These will gradually be introduced over the next few weeks.
Thank you for your continued support and the boxes you are returning.
Take care in the coming days and pace yourselves in the heat.