We Need Some Help

We Need Some Help

Seeing all the tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers growing in polytunnel two gives me a real sense of satisfaction. If all goes well we should have an abundant supply right the way through the summer, but we have hit a snag.

Although we got the polytunnel ‘skinned’ a few weeks ago, one end has never been finished. This was fine in nice calm conditions but the recent windy weather has taken its toll and we need to get things secured fast.

Because of the pressure to get the ‘straw bale build’ finished in July, skilled joinery hands have been in short supply around here lately. I totally understand this, having the build finished on time is critical to the farm’s success.

So, I am putting out a special appeal to anyone handy with a hammer and a few nails to give us a hand to finish things off.

I will be back on site on Friday if you have the time to spare or even just to make arrangements to get things finished. Either email or give me a call on 07803 925446.

Letting Gravity Do The Work

Having polytunnel two on a slope provided us with a problem at first. We found that any efforts to keep the plants watered resulted in streams running down the paths between the beds with very little water penetrating the soil for the plants.

Inspired by a trip to Greece a few years ago where I saw a grower channeling water around his plants, I decided to use the same technique.

We are now using gravity to our advantage having sculpted out a series of cascading ponds that run down from one end of the beds to the other. We put the hose pipe at one and and watch the water slowly make its way down the little waterfall watering each plant in turn during its descent. Only time will tell if it is the right answer but it seems to be doing the trick for now.

Goodbye Mr Chard

We decided that our last remaining over-wintered Swiss Chard plant had finally had its day and gone to seed, so must give up it’s space in polytunnel one and go to the great compost heap in the sky (well, just outside the polytunnel actually).

This monster has given Roger, the occasional customer and I several meals over the few months that I have worked here. Each time we had hacked a meal off it, it came shooting back with more ‘bigger’ growth. It wasn’t very pretty but chopped up and steamed or stir fried it went down a treat. A great example of what a vast amount of food one seed and the right conditions can provide.

The Veg Range Keeps Expanding

News of our increased crops seems to be spreading and we have been getting some good feedback from our customers. Potatoes, mixed salad leaves, lettuce, pak choi, radish, spring (green) onions, coriander leaves, parsley, kale, chives and carrots have all been selling through the shop in the last couple of weeks. And, there is much more to come. This calabrese is nearly ready so expect it to appear in the shop soon.

Calabrese nearly ready to harvest.

Here are a few comments that have been fed back to me recently, coincidentally both about our Beetroot:

From Nicola Whitehead (resident of Glossop, but visiting this area): “Beetroot are very nice. I’ve never had the golden ones and the taste is very delicate and less earthy.”

From Pat Whitehead (resident of Baltimore, USA, but visiting this area): “Bought some organic beetroot here in the States – not a patch on the ones I sampled from Greenslate Farm last week.’

John giving us a hand in the polytunnel on Wednesday