Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
Seeding for Over-Winter
Bob and I hope you are all very well.
Can you believe that we are in the eighth month of the year, that is three quarters of the year, in the blink of an eye - gone! I am not sure if the time disappears quicker if you are a gardener or does it have something to do with getting older and time being eaten up.
Whichever reason, we will always see the seasons change from Spring to Summer to Autumn to Winter and back to Spring again. Each season change bringing a different climate. The challenge we often have is finding the correct means to tackle the weather which is supposed to belong to each season. As you are all experiencing, this Summer Season is not exactly what we expect from a Summer!
We cope by using an umbrella when it rains, sun factor when (and if) the sun shines or just visit indoor activities during the downpours. I am not sure what the crops are thinking of the cool temperatures one day and muggy heat the next. Then they have to tolerate excessive amounts of water. The plants are still expected to grow and produce great goodies to eat. More often than not they do just that.
This week's hot and sunny spell has allowed lots of good growth from all our crops. The rain from all the previous weeks and now the sun is providing all the right ingredients and conditions for excellent courgettes, brassicas, leaves and summer fruiting crops. However, we have not been able to gather in all the many thousands of white and red onions due to the very wet conditions. We have needed a long dry spell, a few days at least, to be able to harvest and cure the onions for storage. The onions you have been receiving have been harvested as and when they were required. We now need to cure and store them for beyond and into the winter months. To store any vegetable, they need to be completely dry…cured…so they do not deteriorate over the coming months. We have soooo many onions and with the weather unpredictable we tend to dry them inside the polytunnels.
As all the onions are removed and other crops are placed into your veg boxes, the beds become free. We then need to fill them up again with our over-wintering crops. As you can see above, our greenhouses are both filling up nicely with the winter seeding. Looking through the window you can see trays of spring greens, winter cabbage, beetroots, leaves, rocket, lettuce and broccoli. The oriental leaves and spinach will soon be sown alongside many more brassicas, leeks and onions. The seeds you can see took less than five days to germinate and will be planted into the freed up beds. This may seem early, but we do want to allow the plants to get comfortable and grow while we still have the warmth and daylight. We need them to be big and strong allowing each plant to cope with the darker and colder conditions of the Autumn and Winter seasons.
No wonder the time passes quickly for me…we are constantly dealing with the ‘coming months’ and the ‘coming seasons’. We do need to think about the present too. So, for the now, I am on a little break visiting our new granddaughter. I definitely do not want this time to go quickly.