March has not gone out like a lamb, but rather with a lamb. Many of them in fact, as we've 18 ewes patiently awaiting their little ones here at the farm. In the gardens, the slow wait is over. We've plenty to plant out and little time to spare, as we prepare the soil in our 2 acre field for the season ahead. We use our little 70 year old Fordson Major for essential jobs like cultivating and shaping beds- jobs that would take us weeks by hand, allowing us more time to save crops from those pesky weeds and increase our production.
We've finally covered our newest polytunnel! After waiting weeks for a day still enough to undertake the covering with just the two of us and today was that day. 3mph from 8am until 11am and 6mph after. We rushed before the wind picked up and bickered and spent far too long looking at it from afar, wondering how we should continue to shift the enormous sheet over the hoops that neither of us could reach easily, but as noon approached, it was almost done. We spent the rest of the afternoon tightening it around the frame, filling in the 45m of trench that was dug around it and dancing joyfully, dreaming of all the tomatoes!
In our other growing poly tunnel, the plants are growing higher and wider by the hour. Lettuces, mustards, cress, radish, beets, fennel, celery and more grow steadily, awaiting their harvest for our Spring CSA, which begins in just two days. We have tomatoes potted up, cucumbers seeded and much ginger sprouting away near some window in our barn. Next week we'll be planting cabbages, onions, kale and potatoes in the top field and filling our new polytunnel up with tens of thousands of seedlings that have idled away on the benches these past weeks.
This season, we are again opening our Volunteer Scheme to 4 members of our community, with 3 spaces remaining. The scheme, which runs every Wednesday (May - November) offers those who are keen to learn more about vegetable growing and organic practices the opportunity to prepare, seed, plant, maintain and harvest with us. We talk through crop planning and rotation, soil health, composting, extending the growing season and everything we've learnt in our combined 13 seasons on the land. Our Volunteer Scheme members will also enjoy the fruits of their labour by becoming a CSA share member and experience home cooked lunches from our gardens. To read more and apply, you can visit our website here.
Warm wishes, Yada & Jon