Wednesday, 30 April 2014

News from the farm

The beginning April saw a bit of mad scramble to get everything done. With the ground dried out and prepared for planting suddenly there were potatoes, onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, lettuce etc etc . . . to plant at once. Now most of that is done and whilst we are always busy at this time of year the pressure has eased a little over the last couple of weeks. Of course it won't last long and once we are into May then we'll be sowing and planting pretty constantly though til mid july (and obviously keeping on top of the weeds too!)

This week we're getting ready for the contractors to do the next round of ploughing etc. There is straw to move off the winter carrot patch (to be used for mulching trees), piles of compost and wood chip to shift and the chickens now need to be moved to new ground too. In a couple of weeks the scene on the farm will be very different with all the over wintered crops gone bar the last few cauliflowers and the field slowly starting to fill up with the new seasons planting.

In the veg shares there's plenty of fresh produce coming in now with lovely tender spinach and salads from the polytunnels and plenty more pak choi, cauliflowers and spring greens to come. Just round the corner are sugar snap peas and cucumbers and a little further off are new season carrots and french beans. We're loving the greens of the spring but also very much looking forward to the fruits of the summer.

~ Danny

Monday, 24 March 2014

Waiting to Spring into action

So we are still waiting for the contractors to come and plough and prepare the land for planting. They came last week and mowed down the weeds and old crops but wanted to leave it a few more days to let the land dry out. Apparently land in the locality is still really wet and people have been getting stuck trying to prepare the soil, which is not surprising considering how much rain we had in the winter. It can be very hard to tell how wet underlying ground is so there is a chance that even though it seems pretty dry underfoot the big tractors may hit a wet patch and get stuck. So we'll be keeping our fingers cross that it all goes smoothly and I hope that when I next write we will have ground ready for planting.

The first few plants were delivered last week - lettuce, beetroot and pak choi for the polytunnels. These were planted straight away alongside the carrots and peas I have already sowed. I will also sow rocket, mizuna, radish and spinach - beans too when the soil is warm enough. At this time of year I'm always looking for anything that will grow quickly and give a crop in the 'hungry gap' which falls around late April to early June in between winter and summer crops. If all goes to plan then things shouldn't be too hungry really. Last year bags were lighter but full of leaves such rocket, spinach, lettuce and spring greens which are particularly lush in the spring. To help us through the hungry gap this year, Marina at the Apricot centre in Lawford is kindly letting us use her cold store to keep the last of the winter roots through the spring. We'll also have plenty of cauliflowers, spring onions, green onions and spring greens which have overwintered so there's plenty to look forward too as we await the fruits of summer.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Whoa! The blog is back!

...... Okay it is entirely my fault that this blog has been inactive for nearly a year but this is par for the course when you have a baby!
Here is the small beast that I have been on maternity leave with and also Danny who is looking very clean cut in this picture.

However I am now back if a little sleep deprived and very excited to take up the threads of this blog.
This blog isn't just about the CSA but the whole experience of starting the project from scratch.

While I've been away the scheme has grown hugely, thanks to many people but in particular to Danny, Claire and Rosie who have been covering my maternity leave.
We now have a planted up social area and about to be certified organic. This means that anything that goes into the ground after certification will be classed a organic, anything growing already will still be classed as in conversion to organic.

We have the Spring social coming up on the 12th of April with a work day from 10am - 1pm and social from 1pm - 4pm. If you're local and would like to become a member of the CSA please email me at for directions.