Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
Its almost Christmas time!
Not long to go till the festive weekend and frivolities.
Christmas Week Delivery
You still have till Midnight Monday to guarantee a box for delivery in Christmas week.
The easiest choice is to order the Christmas Veg Box which is packed with vegetables and fruit for the ideal Christmas break.
There is also the option to select one of the other boxes on the website for delivery in Christmas week - if you do that add a comment in the ‘delivery instructions’ area of the order form advising that you wish your box to be delivered week commencing the 20th December.
After Monday we will have a limited offering of produce on the website and once we reach the limit as to how many boxes we can deliver we will stop taking orders altogether - so, my advice is to place your orders early and have one less thing to be concerned about.
We are of course also taking orders as usual for delivery next week (week commencing 13th December).
On the farm, during this time of the year, we are able to concentrate on making good areas which need a little TLC. We are also able to create new areas to increase our capacity to grow more. As you can see from the above photo, the crew have now completed the new soft fruiting area. Bob and I think they have done a mighty fine job…looking very professional. In this area we have raspberries, blackberries and tayberries all planted up for cropping next year. The strawberry patch, which is to the top right of the picture, has been covered to clear the ground of any grass or weeds. It will also keep the ground warm, ready for planting out the new strawberries in March - 1,000 strawberry plants have been ordered!
To the top left of the picture the new herb garden is under construction. This is running along side Polytunnel Ten. Speaking of which…all the tunnels are having a little TLC at this time. Inside we are adding a top layer of compost to act as a mulch. All the tunnels are also having a general tidy and over the coming New Year time will have the covering cleaned. We do get some dirt and a thin layer of green algae on the polythene. This needs to be washed off as it reduces the amount of light entering the tunnels. When we have lots of snow covering the tunnels it is like pressing the switch to turn off the lights…it is amazingly dark inside the tunnels. At this time of the year, when daylight is at a premium, we need to prevent anything from reducing the light. All our plants grow very slowly, and would not grow at all without the help of daylight.
All the paths within the tunnels are having a new layer of wood chip. This is great for looking good and tidy…keeps me very happy, but it is also a great weed suppressant and feeds the ground…keeps the plants happy.
We have moved Kate, our Tamworth pig Mum. She will be having piglets shortly, due date is not as precise as we normally have it. Bob thinks around Christmas, I think in the second week of New Year. Kate is in a pen on her own. This ensures that she eats all the food we give her. We can also monitor her a little better, especially when she gives birth. Then we can monitor the piglets after they arrive. Kate was in a pen with Royal, the Dad. Royal is now pining for Kate. We do feel awful separating them, especially when we are convinced Royal literally cries and shouts for his other half. However, he was eating lots of Kate’s food. He is enormous and would definitely not be the guy you wanted around tiny piglets. So, needs must and it will only be for a couple of months.
Once again Avian Bird Flu is in the UK. Thankfully, our chicken run means that we have little to do for our chickens. Fingers crossed that they stay safe and well. We will keep a good eye on the girls, especially as a large number of cases have been seen in Cumbria. The chicken houses are having some attention as they were damaged during all the storms. The girls are still nice and cosy.
As a result of the lack of daylight, egg production also slows down. We do not use any extra lights in the houses to increase production, so this is why eggs will be intermittent. We do have a limited number of eggs on the website. Get them while you can.
It is still all go on the farm, and we will continue to be busy while we are not delivering boxes during the first few weeks of the New Year......hopefully this will also be when we may give ourselves our own TLC.
Hear from you soon,