Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
No Price Rise On Our Veg boxes
…..and it is now August! How did that happen?
The weeks are passing by quickly and now the months are disappearing.
Three months ago, we were contemplating which crops we were going to plant out into the new 10,000 square foot growing area within the Orchard Field. Consulting the white board for the ‘Crop Plan’, the summer squash, winter squash and brassicas were an obvious choice.
The new area is now full of purple sprouting broccoli, winter leeks, red cabbages, autumn cabbages, calabrese, broccoli, kohlrabi, red onions along side the sea of squash. We are now harvesting and providing this produce in your boxes.
Amazing that three months ago this was just pure pasture land. With a lot of hard work…putting in drainage pipes, securing wood to signal the layout of the bed, laying cardboard, filling the area with many tons of compost, levelling the compost, making paths of wood chip and then the planting out…we are delighted with the result. A great team effort from the Crew and volunteers.
We have requests many times a week from chefs, who wish to visit or people who are intending to have a career change and become market gardeners and want to learn about our ‘no dig’ approach and how to run the business of a farm. More often than not and for a number of reasons, the visitor is a ‘no show’. This usually takes precious time away from the farms schedule, so we decided a while ago that there’s no free meal here! Any real interest shown and guidance wanted is provided. However, in return we require the equivalent time in work hours. A fair deal! Over the last few weeks Charlie (Charlotte) has been a volunteer every other week, on her day off from a high profile job. We really enjoy her company and her obvious diligence to the tasks we give her. Along with Pete, her gardening hubby, they intend to return to Northern Ireland and start a market garden using some of our methods in the near future. Considering Charlie’s work ethics, they will be successful, without a doubt.
This time last year, another willing student (Chris) came to work and be educated in the "Hexhamshire Organics Way". Bob normally takes the lead on this - by the way Bob is now better known as The Delivery Boy. Chris is now back at home, again in Northern Ireland, with his own market garden based on a large farm. He is now delivering to customers and restaurants in his area. A successful dream for Chris, well done!
Bob and I want to pass on all our knowledge, including our many past mistakes. The mistakes we have made can then be bypassed by the future growers. The productive, in all senses of the word, methods can be understood and used by anyone who wants to learn. Maybe we shall have many more small farms and market gardens providing…
Fresh Local Organic Produce
To start a new venture requires funds…don’t we know it! To start from scratch needs money and it ain’t cheap. The newbies, Chris and Charlie, are working or did work all hours to fund the start up. Then the real work begins. One big regret of Bob and I is that we wish we had been farmers with a market garden when we were much younger. Maybe being farmers now is keeping us younger? (our backs may not agree).
We wish both of our ‘apprentice’ friends great success, especially as times are a bit tough at the moment.
NO PRICE RISE ON OUR VEG BOXES
Speaking of tough times, Bob and I have been asked by a number of people whether we will be increasing the price of our Veg Boxes.
The categoric answer is No!
We have decided that, till at least next summer, our Veg Box, Large Veg Box and Fruit and Veg Box will not change in price.
They have been the price they are at now since July 2020 and will stay at this price for at least the next 12 months. We think they are a good value box and I might add, a very popular item. Generally speaking, just over half the boxes we sell, are one of these boxes.
All our own produce is priced by ourselves and we can control these prices. However, the items we buy in, mainly the fruit such as bananas, oranges, peaches, avocado etc are all imported from Europe. Market forces dictate these prices to us. These prices are outside our control, they will fluctuate and will have to change accordingly.
We hope you appreciate that we are trying to be fair with you our lovely customers. A three year price freeze for our standard boxes we think in these tough times is important to keep to.
And finally our last update for the week. Our website development team (Venture Stream) have made a small number of enhancements to our website to address a number of issues that have "cropped up" over the last few months.
Most of these enhancements are "behind the scenes" so you will not notice much change.
However, one change you will see is on the checkout page, where you will be asked to enter your postcode to check we deliver to your area.
This has been added in as our current delivery area is huge - and we don't want it to get any bigger! So validation has been added to ensure orders are only accepted for our current delivery area.
This added step should only add a few more seconds to your order transaction.
If anyone encounters any problems with these enhancements please email us.
Have a great week, especially if you are on your Happy holidays.