My first month as Greenslate Grower has ended and I have really enjoyed it. The team working on the farm have been very welcoming and have given me a free hand to get the crop growing operation started.
What’s happening on the farm is inspirational, I feel that this small scale community growing project has come of age and is making a huge difference in many peoples lives.
Let’s face it, there is lots of worrying stuff going on in the world at the moment that can leave you feeling helpless, cast adrift on a stormy sea of uncertainty. Well there is one thing that we all can do, reach out to our community and make sure that our own part of the world hasn’t forgotten what humanity is all about.
The Long Term Plan
I see my mission at Greenslate to be very much in line with its ‘Transitional’ roots of providing local food to the local community and bringing money into the local economy rather than spreading it to national and international corporations; ambitious plans indeed.
For me, success in the first year will be to get the café and farm shop stocked with fresh produce grown on site. Forget food miles, think food yards (or metres if you prefer).
On a practical level, much of the work so far has been planning the creation of a one acre market garden. It is an exciting process and I feel incredibly lucky to be given this opportunity. At the same time, it feels a little scary as there is so much to be done.
Roger Buckner trialled some growing on the farm last year with some success and we will build on that this season.
The soil is much sandier here that I would have thought but it seems to have a good balance between sand, silt and clay. The samples that I have looked at seem low in organic matter but this can be worked on. A pH of 6.5 is also a good place to be starting for growing the wide range of crops that we need.
At the moment we are sowing onions and we will soon be starting our tomatoes.
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