Vital Veg. organic farm, field, tractor

Newsletter 3rd July 2017

On the farm

Phew… it’s nice to sit down for a moment!  Jenny, our Administrator, is taking a few days off so I have an excuse to retreat to the office chair.  It is always a scramble to get crops established in our sometimes skimpy Scottish summer before the days start shortening.

Fortunately, in between the extremes of drought and deluge that we have experienced so far this year, the weather has been kind and the crops are looking really well for the first week in July.  The potatoes have appreciated the damp soil and the relatively warm temperatures and they are romping away.  The beetroots and parsnips, which can both be very slow indeed, are coming along a treat as well, as are the carrots. 

All crops take a lot of looking after, but the carrots, beetroots and parsnips are in a class of their own. We hand thin and weed them (just shy of 6 kilometers of them if you add the rows up end to end!), and they must all be done before the weeds overwhelm the young plants and become too expensive to remove. Fortunately we have a crack team of university students who boost the Vital Veg staff numbers in the summer and help us to tackle this job.  We have very comfortable weeding trollies to lie on, so comfy in fact that the same students keep coming back each summer and thinning row crops is amongst the most popular of the summer tasks.

We have finished sowing the field crops, with the last of the young transplants scheduled for planting out this week and next.  We are still sowing in the tunnels though, and will continue to do so until early winter to keep you stocked up with leaves.