While it’s been a cold and grey week, we’re looking forward to the arrival of Spring. The days are drawing out, and working in the fields when the sun is shining really lifts our spirits.
The rhubarb stalks are now emerging through their straw mulch and their ruby colour is a welcome sight - I always look forward to my first rhubarb crumble of the year!
The fields remain too wet for compost spreading and ploughing so we continue to wait patiently. This does give us time to move crop covers out of the way and tidy up abandoned forks and field crates from the fields.
In readiness for ploughing, this coming week we will chop the old crops of fennel, cabbages, kales, cauliflower plants with a tractor mounted ‘topper’.
I have moved my small flock of Dorset sheep onto their new field so that we can plough the field they have been grazing for the past 12 months. The sheep follow the rotation of the vegetables around the organic fields, enjoying the clover, grass and sainfoin which are grown as green manures, and vitally improving the soil fertility.
The final pak choi have been planted out in the polytunnels and hopefully they will be ready to enjoy by May. The tunnels will be clear for planting tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and aubergines after the pak choi have finished.
We have uncovered the broad beans and garlic in the field, as they are strong enough and no longer need a protective net over them. When the field team have had any spare time we have continued with weeding the spring greens. These will be very welcome as the ‘hungry gap’ creeps closer.
Image: Sam Carter