Vital Veg, organic farm

Newsletter 5th October 2020

On the farm
Be careful what you wish for. There is a lot of truth in this old snippet of wisdom. We have been wishing for a good soak of rain for weeks. We have certainly had a good soak over the weekend and today!

Our trees are sighing with relief, as are the winter veg. We, on the other hand, are fretting about our green manure seeds sown last week and now all sitting on the top of the soil instead of nicely covered. They are vulnerable to the crows and frost-lift (if we have frosts!). And then there is the wondering that will persist for a few weeks – will the winter veg split? Hopefully not, but when plants have been sitting in very dry soil for a long time and then suddenly get a big drink they can take up too much water and split. This can happen to all the root crops (carrots, parsnips etc.) and also the cabbages, and even the leeks. Fortunately most of our soil is freely draining, so with luck the excess water will disappear before it does damage. Fingers crossed.

Potatoes
This week’s potato is Maris Bard again. This is a medium waxy potato which holds its shape making it good for boiling and chipping, and a delight in salads. It is, alas, rather susceptible to potato blight. We have graded out any blighty tubers as we harvested these, and also when packing your boxes. But they can slip past us! If that happens and you receive any sub-standard ones do let us know.

Elsewhere on the farm
The robins are singing at top volume, establishing their feeding territories. Our extended hedges are packed with tree sparrows in the early evening, all exchanging the news of the day and creating a wonderful racket! And the tawny owls are cruising the fields at dusk in search of dinner. The trees are taking on their autumn colours here and there, and over the next little while they will all rapidly change from green to brown as the season comes to a close.

Whilst there is less vegetable planting going on on the farm this month we are taking the chance to plant the many wildflowers that we grew from seed earlier this year, along with some native bluebell bulbs that have just arrived in the post. We are careful to buy true native bulbs, grown by a licenced supplier. We are looking forward to seeing a blue haze in May in our woodland!