Newsletter 23rd July 2018
On the Farm
We have our own potatoes in boxes this week – a few weeks earlier than usual thanks to the warm weather. Indeed, the summer flush of veg is now upon us, and the field is full of vegetables ready to harvest. As often happens, this coincides with many of your holidays, so we choose carefully among the veg to give those of you still here the best selection while trying to waste as little as possible. Hopefully you will approve of our selection. Remember that at this time of year we have quite a lot more different types of veg than we can squeeze into your boxes, so why not check out our website to see what’s available now that the new-season crops are coming on stream. We update the shop every week with new vegetables as they mature.
Last week’s 6 hours of rain were very welcome! It has wet the top two inches of soil, but there is still a dry band below that which is proving challenging for our beetroots. The other vegetables have mostly managed to get their roots well down and are currently thriving. But this is now week 11 since the last decent rain, so we are still on tenterhooks as to how much water there really is left in the soil for the crops. More rain please!
The other effect of dry soils is the danger it poses for earthworms. Earthworms are the builders of soil, and they are a crucial part of our farming system. We do everything we can to feed and protect our earthworms. But in dry weather the earthworms head deep into the soil, following the moisture. Our soils are underlain by an impenetrable layer of clay, which the worms can’t get through. So it the soil dries as deeply as that, then the earthworms have nowhere to go. The clay layer is a different depths in different parts of our fields, so hopefully the earthworms will be able to find a refuge if the soils continue to dry.
One of the downsides of the hot weather is that it prematurely ripens our broccoli, messing up our carefully scheduled plantings. It can also make freshly harvested broccoli turn yellow in less than a day. We harvest your broccoli the night before, or on the morning of your delivery in hot weather. If it is going yellow it is not because it is old, but because it has become warm. Please enjoy it as soon as possible after delivery. The yellow colour will not affect the flavor.