Newsletter 4th June 2018
On the Farm
It is still very dry on the farm. There has been rain about, but so far it has missed us. Fortunately there is still a good amount of moisture at depth, and as soon as the young plants can get their roots down a few inches they are taking off.
The other good news about the dry weather is that it is great for weeding! Our team of expert weeders (Thomas and Jason2) arrived this week and are already blazing through the row crops. With just over 5km to do by hand they will be here for a few weeks. Fortunately we have very comfy weeding trollies to lie on, and so this is not the back-breaking job that it used to be We use the tractor for weeding potatoes, leeks and all the brassicas (cabbages, kales, broccoli, cauliflower etc.), with some hoeing to reach the weeds that the tractor misses.
The most tiring job weeding the brassicas is taking the crop covers on and off. These covers are 100m long and 14m wide (see the video on our Facebook page to give you an idea of the length!). These covers keep off the butterflies, cabbage root fly, pigeons and flea beetle, and also reduce the drying effects of wind – so they are good things to have, just not great to move!
Apologies if you have recently received leafy veg with rather a lot of additional protein in the form of greenfly! We don’t use any sprays on our farm and rely instead on natural predators to control greenfly. These are ladybirds, ladybird larvae plus certain native parasitic wasps and midges (specific for greenfly). It takes a little while for the population of these helpers to rise to the level where they get the greenfly under control. The hot weather boosts the rate at which the greenfly multiply, so some parts of the tunnels have quite a lot of greenfly right now. We do shake off the greenfly, and leave out any leaves that we think have too many greenfly – but sometimes these little passengers sneak through to your boxes. Just wash them off, or if you feel that there are too many, let us know and we will credit you for anything that you don’t want to eat.
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!