Vital Veg, organic farm

Newsletter 12th July 2021

On the farm
Our weeding team are almost at the end of our row crops (carrots, parsnips, beetroots and swede) – all done laid down on our (very comfy) weeding trollies! I totted up the distance weeded – 4.6 km. Well done team!! They will be moving off the trollies and taking up hoes from mid week this week to tackle chickweed in our leeks and brassicas. Once this is done we will leave the crops alone and are happy to accommodate some late-growing weeds in the mix because they are so important in helping our native birds survive over the winter. Our crops don’t need to be 100% weed free to thrive, they just need to be ahead of the weeds at the critical time for their development.

The germination in our swede crop was poor this year. In part due to rather disappointing seed, and in part due to the very dry spell when we sowed the crop. Today we have been gapping up (i.e. filling in the spaces) with some seedlings that we sowed in modules as soon as we realized we had a gappy crop in the field. Hopefully these will establish well and mean that we have a good crop of swedes for your winter stews!

The weather looks set to be fantastic for the next wee while. The soil is nicely rehydrated by the recent rains and the warmth and sunshine is returning. It won’t be long before we can start harvesting our early new potatoes, and even some of our summer brassicas. Some of our own short cucumbers are making their way into boxes this week, along with a new flush of our own chard and lettuces. Our salad leaves have been so popular that there is a bit of a gap now whilst the next lot grow.

Dry and tinned goods etc.
We have a good supply of dry and tined goods, and toiletries etc. in our online shop at the moment, but one of our suppliers has just let us know that they have suffered a data corruption. They are unable to process any new orders, and are unable to say when they will up and running again. So, this is a heads up that we may have some shortages on the horizon. Apologies in advance if there is any inconvenience caused.

Awards update
We decided that this would be the year we finally entered some awards. Sadly we ran out of time to enter the farm into the Nature of Scotland awards, but we have surprised ourselves by doing well in two other competitions. Last week we found out that we are runners up in the Soil Association competition for the best UK small organic farm. We are chuffed! We also found out that we have made it onto the “short short-list” for the farm woodland category in Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards. We have already had a farm woodland inspection, and now have another interview to do, and we will find out the result in September. So fingers crossed!

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