Ann's Farm Journal

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

Winter has arrived - and it's Cold!

Winter has arrived - and it's Cold!

Hello Everyone, 

I have to say that I do like weather which is fresh and crisp with beautiful blue skies. Even though it is freezing…minus numbers here on the farm…the air seems cleaner and it is good to be seasonal. Winter has definitely arrived. Just look at the beautiful Savoy Cabbages (which will be available later in the winter/early spring season) with the freezing conditions on Saturday morning. The cabbages you have been receiving in your boxes are our January King…for obvious reasons a winter cabbage.

However, harvesting our crops becomes even more of a thinking task. Generally, we harvest the leafy produce for the box scheme the day we deliver, normally very early in the morning. Due to the freezing conditions we are waiting till the end of the previous working day. I am apologising now, but we are not placing the soft leafy crops on the website this week as we do not want to destroy the plant. The majority of the plants consist mainly of water. The water within the plant freezes. The weight of the freeze makes the plant flop and they can very easily snap! We have to work with Mother Nature (MN) to help her. While we are resisting harvesting, MN is making sure that each plant becomes stronger by ensuring each cell becomes bigger and better fending off the frost. She comes to the rescue again! We have to embrace ‘seasonal’, seasonal weather, seasonal planting, seasonal produce. 

The brassicas…cabbages, broccoli, sprouts etc are harvested earlier than the day of delivery. Plus we do have lots of stored vegetables…roots, alliums, squashes etc. So, there is still soooo much to create and enjoy from the foods we have available. 

For as much as I enjoy cooking with the summer produce…salads, tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, strawberries, new potatoes…I am devouring casseroles, jacket potatoes filled with goodies, dinners with gravy, soups and sautéed greens. 

The great Graham has returned to work this week. The lovely Lucy Is delighted, as are we. Lucy has a companion to work with and the amount of work completed during the week has doubled. The Crew have been amazing this week, once again! 

We are embracing the ‘seasonal work’. Lots of jobs are completed during the winter months. Farming and gardening is a twelve months of the year kinda thing. For instance-

The first Herb Garden was planted about five years ago. It needs to be cleared and re established with a fresh supply of herbs. A drain also needs to be dug into the ground as it has a huge wet patch which prevents proper growth within this area. Earlier in the week Lucy started to remove the debris and older herbs from the garden, Graham helped as the week went on. But work has stopped here as the ground is now completely frozen. As Lucy, the qualified horticulturist among us, has explained, frozen ground should not be disturbed as the frost will be taken under the soil top and that will not be good for anything within the soil structure.

Any ground which is left bare is now nearly all covered with weed suppressing material. This will not only prevent the growth of weeds, it will also raise the temperature (even just slightly) of the ground, preventing some frost damaging the soil structure and the life below. This should also get us off to a flying start come the new growing season.

The new growing season seems a way off. The sowing of the seeds begins at the end of the winter season proper. Or does it??? Nope! The lovely Lucy has already sown 500 hundred Broad Bean seeds…the first seeds to be sown every new growing year. And so the cycle begins again and all the experience gained from the previous years growing will be used to help the new year. 

Lots and lots and lots of you have placed your Christmas Box order already, well done and thank you. Regular weekly orders can still be placed but remember, we will not be taking any more orders from 15th December. Plus once we reach capacity for the Christmas week deliveries we will be closing the website.

Deliveries will take place on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of December. We will decide your delivery day based on the number of orders received, where they are located and is dependent upon the areas requiring a delivery. 

All have a great week with little Christmas shopping stress,

HoHoHo Ann 🤶