Newsletter 26 April 2021
On the farm
And so we go back to the cold weather again. At least it is raining! In the same breath as being thankful for the rain, I am grumbling that it has been a day of little sunshine and less warmth. No pleasing me apparently! But it is like all things – the best way is for everything in moderation. We have enjoyed the dry weather, allowing us to get our vegetable ground prepared and ready for this seasons’ crops. But we need the rain to encourage them to germinate and get going, and the sun and warmth to speed their growth. So – in true Scottish style, all weathers in a day would be just fine. Even better if the rain can come overnight please… This week we will be sowing yet more carrots outdoors, along with broad beans. Indoors we will be sowing more broccoli, cauliflowers, sweetheart cabbages, more kales and our courgettes. Our cucumbers are all germinated and safely growing in our protected glasshouse. Rather later than usual, but we have hopefully avoided the fierce frosts.
Yesterday (Sunday) saw a loan swallow arrive back on the farm, zooming around the yard. Hopefully its mate and friends will arrive in the next few days. It seems only two minutes since they left. But they have flown half way round the world and back. They seem so small and vulnerable, and it is an anxious time waiting to see who else returns.
Working closely with wild creatures each day makes me both happy anxious. I cut our overwintered green manure yesterday to allow us to over-sow it with clovers. These will boost the soil fertility, and feed the pollinators. But with the Skylarks singing above me I worry that they have chosen to nest where I am cutting. We manage our grass fields and cereals for ground nesting birds like the Skylarks, and there are other nesting places besides the vegetable field. But I still get off the tractor to look for nests anyway. I hope that because I found none they are safely in another spot.
These are the very last of our own 2020-sown carrots. If you encounter tunnels in these carrots, and little white grubs please don’t be alarmed – they are harmless root fly which sneaked under our nets. Best just cut out any pre-loved parts of the carrots. We have increased the weight of carrots the boxes and for any special orders to cover any bits that you need to cut out. As always, if you discover anything below standard just let us know. Next week we will probably have Dutch or Spanish carrots – it will be a little while until UK carrots are available. Our own should be back in July!
This weeks’ potatoes
It’s rather a pot luck week for potatoes because we have a just a very few left of several different varieties! So, while I am writing this newsletter I can’t say for sure what will be in the different size boxes. They are all versatile in the kitchen, but if you receive purple skinned Arran Victory this one does fall apart quickly on boiling – so one to bake or roast, or thicken a soup!