Ann's Farm Journal

Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!

The Busiest Time Ever

The Busiest Time Ever

Hello everyone,

Well we have just had the busiest week Hexhamshire Organics have ever had on the box scheme!

We thank you for all your orders and your continued support. The above photo is of our packing area in operation…chaotic but organised. This is only one day of last week's deliveries. We do this constantly for four days for the box scheme. We also sow, transplant, water, tend and harvest our organic crops. Not forgetting the admin. Oh and we also care for our two gorgeous, beautiful grandchildren. We wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s all in the planning! 

The chicken run, which is being created by the boys in our Crew, is nearly ready for the chickens to call home. It looks very sturdy and it is enormous. Once the chicken houses are in situ, the doors can be hung. One great advantage of this pen is the added security of knowing that, if another avian bird flu outbreak happens over the coming seasons, the birds will be safe. We have taken the time to add more posts to enable a net to be thrown across the pen to protect the girls from birds with this flu.

Once the girls are in their new home we can begin creating another fifteen thousand square foot of outside growing space within the Orchard Field. It would have been pointless having the extra beds with chickens running amok. Nothing would be able to grow successfully. And I know…my garden could be soooo much better if the chickens had been kept away from the garden - me planting flowers in the beds has often been a complete waste of time. I have no idea why I have persisted with planting and trying to grow flowers alongside chickens! I now have no excuse, my garden should now be perfect. Fingers crossed.

This growing area within the Orchard Field, will be in full cultivation at the beginning of the 2022 spring season.

We are still tending the plants of the summer 2021 summer season. But these are being removed as we complete their harvest. So the aubergines, peppers and chillies which are still left, will be removed over the coming week. The onions we sowed a few weeks ago will be transplanted into these areas. However, we do have about 8,000 onions to plant out! More space will be needed. As the tomatoes are harvested and the vines removed, more onions will be transplanted into these area. The inside growing areas will be full once again with winter growing produce.

Before long the sweetcorn, summer planted kales, broccoli, cabbages, red cabbages and leeks will all be gone from the outside growing area. We still have the next seasons brassicas and yet more onions to plant out. The outside areas will also be full again.  

Somehow, we will have to check our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly records. Our annual Soil Association assessment will be taking place during the first week of November. We do have to keep many many records as a business. We are not perfect at this however, this year we seem to be on top of the record keeping a little more than normal. We will be checking everything beforehand…as Bob says - check check and check again. It is always daunting, but such a relief when the assessment is over. 

The nights are now really dark very early. This does mean that physical work outside is dramatically reduced. We have to plan around the light and the weather conditions. We are constantly thinking about the next season and the next year, but this is a great time of the year to do the planning for the coming year. As part of this planning we will be taking time to consult the seed catalogs for the next year. The crop plan will be completed again. So the circle of gardening life begins again.  

As I said, the nights are very dark really early. But we still need to deliver our boxes to you, our lovely customers. We have just experienced our busiest week EVER! We take three days to deliver all our boxes. We will have to deliver in the darker hours to complete each days route. We apologise for what would appear as a ‘late delivery’. The summer months are fine and light, so are not a problem. We are trying our best to leave as early as possible to ensure early deliveries. We are working on the issue of winter deliveries, so please bear with us.  Like I said…it’s all in the planning! 

Hear from you before Midnight Monday for your Fresh Local Organic produce. 

Thank you and take care,