Vital Veg, organic farm, leeks

Newsletter 7th June 2021

On the farm
Another lovely week! The farm is a beautiful place to be – but the good weather makes it even better. We are able to catch up, and amazingly we are not far off our plan now. Most of the crops are not more than 7 days behind an average year, so we are feeling pretty chipper given that the “spring” (do we have such a season anymore??) was so very cold, and rather a washout. The potatoes are mostly well up, with a few laggards (Pink Gypsy and Ambo are slower than the other varieties). We have planted all our leeks – hurrah. Almost 16,000 all sown individually by hand, tended for three months in the nursery tunnel, and then planted one by one with the help of our tractor-drawn planter (you can see a photo on Instagram). The first variety will be ready late August or early September. We are also well on with our brassica planting, with many cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli in the ground. We will be planting lots of kales this week, and more broccoli and cauliflower plus some Romanesco next week. After that there are another two weeks planting brassicas and we will have the whole crop in the field. Our crack weeding team have started thinning carrots and beetroots. Our rows of carrots, beets, parsnips and swedes which all need thinning. Placed end to end they measure 4.8 km. It is actually a rather popular job because we have very comfy weeding trollies!

In the limelight…
We learnt last week that we are finalists in the Soil Association Organic Market Awards in the competition for the best small organic farm. We are very excited about this as it is a hotly contested title.

The trees on our farm are also in the spotlight, and we had a visit last Thursday from the judges for Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards. They spent three hours inspecting our young woodland, our hedges and windbreaks and our wood pasture. They asked all sorts of questions about the role and management of the trees on the farm, and how they impact on our vegetable business.

We will find out later in the year if we have won either of these titles, but frankly we are just thrilled to have been shortlisted!

Reminder to eat leafy veg early
Our veg boxes are getting more leafy and less rooty for the coming weeks. This is because we are waiting for the new crops to mature in the field and our tunnel crops are mostly leafy salads. We pick these very early in the morning while they are cool, but it is a good idea to use them soon after your box is delivered to enjoy them at their best.

It really helps us keep our own prices level if you can return our boxes regularly and in good condition – please wipe them clean and leave them out for us to collect when your next delivery is due. THANK YOU