Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
Firstly we must apologise to those who did not receive all of their order, last week. We had lots of snow, but more significantly, below zero temperatures. As a result of the very wintery weather we could not harvest our crops from outside or even harvest from inside the tunnels. Those crops, which consist of leaves, freeze and flop over. However, not surprisingly, when the temperature warms a little the leaves bounce right back up. Mother Nature is a wonder. It is amazing that one day a plant can look a goner and the next day fresh and perfect for eating.
The snow made the farm look gorgeous. We had a proper covering of the white stuff. The temperature dropped to at least minus three during the day and even colder at night. The doors of the polytunnels all froze tight shut. Snow and ice covered the outside growing areas.
The water pipes froze. Each day the animals all get given fresh water. We had to carry buckets of water from the house to each pen or chicken house. No mean task in the slippy conditions. The pigs were all warm and cosy as they spooned inside the pig pens. The chickens and ducks were probably glad they are in their own lockdown as I doubt they would have ventured out. (Defra still have the bird flu restrictions in place. This means all birds – chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys – have to be in a covered and restricted pen until further notice. We are following Soil Association and Defra instructions).
We now have the thaw and all the excess water that follows snow. Personally, I love the snow, even with the extra jobs it creates. The farm looked lovely and it was great going out all wrapped up, cosy and warm. It is the trudging thru’ the mud which now has to be tolerated. HeHo! It is winter!
Jobs still have to be completed, whatever the weather. All the animals are cared for with an extra look at to make sure they are warm and well watered and fed. The lovely Lucy (back after the festive break), pruned all the apple trees in the Orchard Field. This is a winter job, but not until there had been a good cold snap. Trees can start growing if they are confused into thinking it is an early spring. We wait till trees know it really is winter and it has been freezing. Then we prune. Our ‘jobs for the winter schedule’ is seeing some tasks ticked off.
It was good to see some early signs of spring this week. Pre Christmas, Lucy sowed the broad bean seeds and hooray! they are popping up thru’ the compost. This is totally due to the warmth of the heater in the greenhouse and the extra two minutes of light we are gaining each day. Our seeding starts with a vengeance from Valentines Day, which is only four weeks from today! Spring soon folks!
Last week was the busiest week (apart from Christmas) we have ever had. We will try and complete all the orders we receive on time. The weather hampered Bob while driving in West Northumberland, so we apologise to our local customers who had to have a Saturday delivery. Fingers crossed for this week, but it does help us enormously, if you have your orders in asap. We may have to close the shop if our numbers increase significantly once again.
At this time of the year we do need to buy in produce to supplement the crops we grow. Please note that goods brought across from Europe, by our ‘farm to farm’ partner, have risen hugely, so huge we have not bought in some produce (courgettes for example). The price rise is not only due to the weather conditions in Spain but Brexit business! This can only be a good thing for Seasonal Produce! Just Saying……
Fresh Local Organic
All have a warm and safe week,