Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
Working with Nature
Bob and I hope you are all very well and dry! We have had sooooo much rain. The ditches along the side of the lane have been full of gushing water to the point that they overflowed creating a river which flowed down to the end of the lane, creating a huge puddle. The paddock became a pond, as did an area of the orchard. The water level outside was high and not draining away. As a result of excess water in the ground the water system in the house did not drain away quickly. Luckily for us nothing overflowed to cause problems, but it was worrying. The water outside is now seeping away into the ground or the drainage system.
During the summer season we had no rain. We have just started the Autumn/Winter season and so far as a result of constant rain we have had rivers of water. The water balance has been achieved but we know that, here on the farm, in some areas we will have to trudge thru mud till March!
During the very hot and dry summer months our crops grew slowly and needed to be watered constantly to make them grow. The Autumn and overwintering crops, which were planted out at the end of the Summer season, have enjoyed the mild weather allowing them to establish and grow quickly. The rain we so desperately needed for the Summer crops is now supplying our established Winter crops.
From season to season, our soil has been doing ‘its thing’. All the micro organisms have been working away to create the nutrients our crops need to grow well. We know that this has been happening because the crops we have are looking really fab. Mushrooms are growing along our paths and in a number of the beds. This is also a sign of good soil health. Mushrooms grow when the ground is very moist and when there are plenty of nutrients within the soil to feed the mushrooms. We tend to allow the mushrooms to decompose in situ which then adds to the nutrients within the soil.
To have good crops, water, light, nutrients and care is required. We are providing the care. Mother Nature has been providing the rest. The crops were planted early enough to establish the plant. We now have the water, we are helping with the nutrients so the plant is being fed. The light is diminishing, but because the other elements of plant growth have been provided, they will grow, slowly or become dormant until more light appears.
All this happens each year. Our crops are thriving better year on year. The difference, we think, is our ‘no-dig’ approach. We are not disturbing the life which is living below six inches of our land. Lots of farmers and scientists keep talking about this approach. Large farms are starting to think and proceed with this system. Some farmers are constantly thinking about how to improve their crops, how to feed the soil. They work really hard for their lovely customers (some of which are the big shops but that is for another discussion).
What I think I am trying to say this week is that, generally, farmers take time to think and improve ways of working and to improve the standard of their crops. Farmers spend each day of the year caring for the crops (and stock) by ensuring the food they give to the crops is the best Mother Nature has to offer. Farmers grow the crops which are suitable for the season. The crops they grow are the food we eat. By eating the seasonal crops farmers grow means that the farmers we have, stay farmers.
We happen to be an organic farm, growing seasonal produce. Our intention is to only provide foods we grow. We think we are going to be able to grow a choice of over seventy five organic fruits, vegetables, herbs and eggs. These goodies will all be grown by ourselves on a seasonal basis. We are well on our way to becoming seasonal growers. We would like to thank you for choosing our...
Fresh Local Organic Seasonal Produce.