Welcome To Spring(ish)

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Welcome to Spring!
 
…not that the weather appears to be very Spring like! Bit of a cold snap where we are with the odd flurry of the white stuff. I think I would like it to be a little warmer now, so that I can wear less layers and spend more time outside without having to take ages to warm through during the evening time. It’s not all bad…..the clock says nearly six in the evening and it is just dusk. Brilliant!

This is also a time for change on the farm. All the Winter stored produce is beginning to come to an end. The Spring crop is just around the corner. This time in between is known as the ‘hungry gap’. We have vegetables which are ready to harvest now…pak choi, salad leaves, baby beetroot, herbs, an assortment of brassicas, including Chinese Cabbage and Green Cabbages (see picture above). These have been overwintering and are now blooming and ready to help bridge the gap between last year’s produce and the new Spring produce. So, we have been planning ahead for this and also for the next season.

Our big projects over the last few days have been the fruit cage and the outside growing areas of the Pond Field, for the next season The fruit cage looks amazing (thank you Crew). All the ground has been refreshed with new compost, some fruit bushes reassigned to a new area and the Lovely Lucy gave all the bushes a short back and sides (don’t we all want one of these….lockdown!). Fingers crossed for some great gooseberries and blueberries later this year. The rhubarb has also had a bit of a face lift (mmmmm! More of a choice thing than a lockdown woe). The rhubarb crowns are all showing signs of new growth. We always seem to have a good rhubarb crop, but we are expecting a bumper crop this year after moving the rhubarb to its present patch.

The Great Graham has put in a pebble path around the edge of the fruit cage. This will help reduce the weeds from creeping into the cage, which was a huge issue for us last year. It also looks sooooo professional and very much in keeping with the paths we have around the polytunnels. Getting there!

The outside growing areas do have the onions, garlic and brassicas growing. However, we are working around these crops and rejigging the size and shape to give us an even bigger area to fill with produce. Bob will be starting to bring in more PAS100 compost to the farm from this week. A new and deeper layer of compost will cover the whole of the area in this field; the Pond Field.

All the seedlings growing inside the greenhouses will then go on a little journey to the polytunnels in the Green Field and the outside bed in the Pond Field.
We are polytunnel ready, fruit cage ready but not quite Pond Field ready……better crack on……
 
By the way… the animals are doing well. The chickens are still on their own lock down from Avian Bird Flu. Defra say we still have to keep them under a shelter, so this we shall do, especially as it is the law! They are actually fine. From us, they have a good clean out each week with new bedding etc. They are fed a few times a day. Get plenty of fresh water. For us, they produce lots of lovely eggs. Poached egg is a favourite in our house…the yolks are bright orange and yummy. If I make a cake, it is gone in no time…just ask Bob!

The pigs are as noisy as ever. Every neighbour in the surrounding area know when the pigs are being fed! I can promise you they are not starved, but when they are fed, it is as if they have not been fed for weeks!!! The piglets Kate delivered a few months ago are now huge. They are very naughty and do escape occasionally. We now never panic about the odd escapee, we just shake the blue bucket full of pig pellets and the pigs come wandering home following that bucket.

I have to say I do feel sorry for the ducks. They must be missing the pond. We do give them lots of water as they do like to keep themselves clean.
Speaking of the pond….both the pond in the Orchard Field and the one in the Pond Field have wild ducks and the Canada geese have made a visit. I do hope they are the same ones from last year and they have decided that here is home.
 
Thank you to all our lovely customers. You are great at sending in your orders before the Tuesday deadline. It is a huge help to us all at the farm. We need to spend as much time as possible tending the crops and caring for the animals. We thank you.
 
As I said, I’ll crack on…
 
Keep Staying Safe,
           Ann👩‍🌾