Newsletter 5th February 2017
On the Farm
We had a few days away in Shetland last week, and have come back with renewed admiration for the few folk who grow commercial vegetables in such a northerly place! The sea helps warm the islands, and temperatures can be kinder than Aberdeenshire, but the winds and rain seem fiercer and there is little shelter; the soils are less rich (and often drenched in sea spray as well as rain!), and the growing season is shorter due to the latitude. Shetland is truly beautiful and awe-inspiring, but as a place to earn a living by growing veg… well, hats off to those who achieve it, it makes our job look easy!
Back at home it is still cold – with more heavy frost forecast for this week. Just a reminder that we do our best to check vegetables for any frost damage before we send them out, but if you do receive any that you feel are not up to scratch please let us know right away so that we can make amends.
Guess the portions competition
Those of you who visit our Facebook page will have seen our “guess the portions” competition which closed at the end of January. This was a photograph of a selection of vegetables from the farm, and the challenge was to guess how many portions (80g each) there were in the picture. We have had a great response, and will be checking all the entries against the actual number of portions this week – winner to be announced very shortly once we have been through all the entries!
Tools for the job
One of the challenges of growing vegetables on a smaller scale in Scotland is finding the right tools for the job. In fact the whole of the UK is a bit of a tool desert when it comes to small scale veg. We keep looking in envy at the selection available to growers on the continent, in Asia and America. We have imported some tools (specialized hoes, weeders and seeders) but they are frighteningly expensive. Specialized tools are pricy to begin with, and adding carriage from overseas adds to the burden, and beyond Europe (and soon Europe as well) we have import duty, which effectively doubles the price… So we are attempting to make copies of some items, either from scratch or by adapting tools available here. We are thankful that we have Duncan and Gordon who are skilled with welding irons and angle grinders, and who can fashion great things out of the most unlikely materials!