Vital Veg, organic farm

Newsletter 17 May 2021

On the farm
Well, it is a case of dodging between the showers on the farm! Tractors are a huge time-saver for us, and our modest little Massey 290 enables us to sow seeds and plant young plants much faster than if we did these tasks by hand. But tractors and wet soil don’t mix. So when it rains we have to wait. Wet soil sticks to tractor wheels and brings up the newly sown seeds. Wet soil compresses and can turn concrete-like when is subsequently dries, making it hard for plant roots to grow. So we wait..

Fortunately we had a few dry days together over the weekend, so we have been able to finish sowing our clover-rich leys (which we rely on to add nitrogen and organic matter to our soils). We also finished sowing our wild bird seed, much to the delight I am sure of the many seed-eating birds who live in our hedges! There was also just enough time this morning before the lunchtime deluge for us to plant our red cabbages, sweethearts and summer savoys, and lots of cauliflowers. That was a big relief because these have been waiting a week. We did not quite manage to finish preparations for the next carrot and bean sowings alas, and we were rained off before we could do the first weeding session in the potatoes. But hopefully we will get another dry spell between the forecasted showers to get on with these jobs.

Wildlife update
After a long wait we now have four swallows zooming round our veg field. They are making good use of the mud and are using it to alter last years’ nests. We have two cuckoos spending quite a lot of time on the farm at the moment. They will be looking for nests of smaller birds to lay their eggs in. There are lots of other summer migrants here too, all singing loudly!

Drystone walling classes
Last years’ dry stone walling classes on the farm were very popular and oversubscribed. Now that lockdown seems to be lifting again we will be scheduling more classes. These will again be led by Historic Scotland’s Malcolm Hutcheon who is a qualified stone mason and dry stone waller. The classes will last two days over a weekend, and will cost £130 + VAT per person. We are finalizing dates at the moment, but if you are interested drop us a line for more details.

It really helps us keep our own prices level if you can return our boxes regularly and in good condition – please wipe them clean and leave them out for us to collect when your next delivery is due. THANK YOU