Vital Veg, organic farm, fritillary butterfly

Newsletter 19th July 2021

On the farm
What great growing weather! The crops are loving this sunshine in the wake of the rain at the beginning of the month. The potatoes in particular worship the sunshine, and it won’t be long before we start lifting the first of our early varieties – Colleen. The sunshine has brought on a lot of our crops, and this week we have more of our own mini cucumbers, courgettes, beetroot with tops (remember you can eat the tops too!), summer savoys and un-hearted sweetheart cabbages which double as spring greens. These are in some boxes, or available as special orders. Our broad beans were late sown this year due to that part of the field being soggy in the winter deluges. But they are well on their way now and we will have our own beans shortly. And the first of the cauliflowers and home grown broccoli won’t be long either! Hurrah!

The heat makes working with the veg rather more tiring than usual, and we need to be careful in the sunshine outdoors. Tunnel work is only possible on cloudy days, or pre-dawn if it is due to be warm and produce needs harvesting. So, the days are very long!

While growing vegetables enjoy the sunshine, harvested ones do not. If you are out when we deliver we will find the coolest place available to us to leave your veg. If the sun does get on your box for any length of time this will shorten the life of the veg, especially the leafy ones and

broccoli. Please eat these first if possible to get the best out of your box.

Butterfly count
Butterfly Conservation Charity are asking everyone to take part in their Big Butterfly count to help them track what is happening to our butterflies. We are planning to do a couple of counts in different parts of our farm. You can do one too – it takes just 15 minutes, sitting in one spot and recording the different butterflies that you see. https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/
There are some great identification charts on the butterfly count site to help you.

Last year we had two young ecologists surveying the wild plants and birds on our farm. This was really informative and has helped us to develop a plan for improving the habitats on the farm. We would love to know more about the insects and spiders that live here, so if you are a budding, or seasoned entomologist or spider expert, and would like come and see what you can find please get in touch.

RETURNING YOUR EMPTY BOXES
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