Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
Yet another intense hot period! My full time extra job has been to ensure that everything is watered. Thankfully, the ground drip irrigation in the polytunnels, ensures that any water, being delivered, goes directly to the roots and there is no wastage. All tunnels are getting some water every day. The temperature in the tunnels reaches into the forties, which is a complete no go for long stretches of work time.
Harvesting is a challenge in these temperatures. Last week Bob and I did lots of harvesting in the very late evening or from five in the morning (that being Bob as I couldn’t get out of bed at that time! I started at six thirty, sorry customers). These are the coolest parts of the day. During the day anything harvested from the tunnels was just floppy or soft.
The tomatoes are perfect for harvesting, but they are a time consuming job. They need to be taken from the vine when ripe, consequently, we go into the tunnel for a short time but more often. The beans take a really long time to harvest so were definitely an early or late in the day job. As you can see above, the tomatoes and beans in tunnel seven, are looking great.
Watering outside is from our sprinkler system. Both the Pond Field and the Orchard Field required watering for existing crops and newly planted crops for the future seasons. Some veggies need more watering than others, for instance, fennel is a very thirsty plant and will bolt if not watered regularly. The well established red cabbage, green cabbages, leeks, kohlrabi etc. do not need constant watering, but a sip of water is good. The next crop of onions, for autumn and winter storage, are curing in the sun and need no water. Some vegetables are being stored in the ground, potatoes, so thankfully it is dry for them. The squash are fine with just a small amount of water. The herbs growing outside are generally an arid plant, but even they are being watered. I hope you are getting the picture…watering is as much a science as a gardeners task. We need to know our plants and the ground they were planted into. The climate changes we are being challenged with are definitely making us think long and hard about how we proceed. We consider carefully the watering we do. We always look to use only the minimum of water we need…we just need more of that water to arrive!
We do not want our ground to dry and bake to a hard ground. So watering constantly keeps the ground soft and any watering from the sprinkler does then go directly into the ground and roots. Hard baked ground will only result in the water ‘running off’ the area which needs the water most. At all times we manage very carefully any watering tasks to minimise the amount of water we use - so that we are doing our bit in conserving this special resource. We do have some rain forecast for this coming week, hopefully enough to water all our gardens.
The crew have been great this week. They have worked outside in some really, really hot conditions. They have also been able to take cover from the glaring sun by working in the barn…cleaning the garlic, or in shaded places…potting on and sowing seeds.
Well done guys, it was hot but I think the iced lollies helped!
So, me thinks you know exactly where I am going…off to water!
Have a good week, thank you for your great support,