Organic leek seedlings at Vital Veg, Aberdeen

Newsletter 14th May 2018

On the Farm
We are now in top gear on the farm, with seeds and plants literally flying!  We have started planting out the main late summer, autumn and winter crops, and are three quarters of the way through our schedule of carrot and beetroot sowings.  The earliest beetroots, which we sowed indoors in modules in March, are now out in the field – and are happily watered in by the deluge on Saturday night.  These give us a head start on direct sown (i.e. straight into the soil) crops, because beetroots don’t like sitting in cold soil and early outdoor sowings tend to sulk all season!  This way we can get lovely fresh beetroots with tops ready for you by late summer.

The tunnels are looking great, with cucumbers planted out – but not up on their strings yet because we need to put fleece on them at night.  The nights are still cold – even in our insulated tunnels the temperature is dropping below 5 °C, which is a danger to cucumbers.  The daytime temperatures can get pretty steamy though, and we need to be constantly opening and closing vents to keep everything just right.

Sunny mornings mean very early starts for harvesting out of the tunnels – before 5am if necessary to prevent the produce heating up before we harvest it for your orders.  It is a beautiful place to be though, and what could be a nicer start to the day than listening to the birds while cutting fresh veg?

Hairy carrots and sprouty tatties
You might notice some little white hairs sprouting from your carrots.  These are little roots beginning to grow because the carrots know that it is spring and time to start growing again to send up a flower stalk and produce seeds.  The roots will come off when you wash to carrots, and won’t affect the flavor.  We will to come to the end of our own carrots this week or next.  Until our new crops are ready we will buy in organic carrots from growers in the south to cover the gap.  

The same is true of the potatoes.  Just rub out the sprouts if they look like they are trying to grow.  They are a reassuring sign that the potatoes have not been sprayed with sprout suppressant chemicals. The new potatoes are on their way, and we will be buying these in as soon as we can get hold of UK grown ones.  Our own will be ready from mid-August, all being well!

See some pictures and videos of the farm
I hope that you enjoy reading about the farm in these newsletters.  We like to give you an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in filling your boxes with veg every week.  If you want to see pictures we put new ones up on our facebook page regularly.  Have a peek if you have not already done so!