Newsletter 12th February 2018
On the Farm
Finally – we have ploughed the potato ground! It has been a bit of a wait this year, with wet and then deeply frozen ground. Over the weekend conditions were good, and our wonderful neighbor was able to undertake the ploughing for us.
The potatoes are a “hungry” crop, meaning that they do best in a rich soil. We put them in as the first crop to follow our fertility building leys (grass, clover and herb mixtures which add goodness to the soil for two years out of every five). The ley needs some time to break down in the soil before the crop is planted, so early ploughing is good. However, we don’t want to plough too early, because this leaves the soil exposed to winter rains and snow, causing valuable nutrients to be washed away. Like everything to do with growing veg, it is a fine balance to get the timing right!
We are doing germination tests at the moment to be sure that our seeds have the best chance of turning into great crops. We can’t risk sowing seeds now that fail to germinate in a few weeks time – that would mean a few valuable weeks out of our very short growing season would be lost. So, a germination test at the right time saves a lot of tears!
This week we will be preparing our nursery tunnel for the first of this year’s seeds – the leeks. Some of the salad and spring green seedlings that we sowed last autumn will soon be ready for planting in the tunnels, filling the gaps that you create with your orders. Then we will begin sowing lettuces, salad leaves, chards and other delicious veg for the polytunnels, followed by the main crop vegetable plants which will go into the field, and we will continue sowing most weeks until late autumn.
VitalVegAthon competition results!
Thank you to everyone who entered our competition to guesstimate the number of portions of veg shown in a photograph on our Facebook page throughout January. We had guesses ranging from 2 portions to 24 portions ... no-one got it exactly right, but the closest was .... drum roll ... Claire White, who guessed 24 portions. Actually there were 22.5 portions shown in the photograph ... the beetroot, parsnip and yellow carrot were BIG vegetables! Congratulations to Claire, who will be receiving a voucher for £100 worth of Vital Veg, fruits etc.