This week we have ticked off two more of our winter jobs that we like to get done before the end of the year. Both our asparagus and rhubarb plants have been put to bed in readiness for harvesting in the spring. The asparagus ferns have been cut down, the rows weeded, compost spread and we finally covered the asparagus plants with a black plastic sheet (our third year using the same sheet) to kill the weeds. As you can imagine, weeds can soon become a nightmare in the rows of asparagus as the slender spears can’t compete. In April we will uncover the rows just as the first tender asparagus spears are ready to harvest.
The rhubarb plants have also had a feed of compost and have been covered with straw to suppress the weeds. We hope to be picking the first stalks of rhubarb in early spring. Fortunately we got both of these jobs done before more rain plus snow and sleet arrived on Thursday evening. A total of 31mm of precipitation fell and the land drains and ditches are flowing and Dad has restarted our reservoir pump. Slowly the reservoir water level is starting to rise again in preparation for irrigating next year’s vegetables.
Judith has seen that Fieldfares have returned to the farm for the winter, having spent their summer breeding in Scandinavia. In the fields we notice not only the seasonality of the vegetables but also our winter and summer feathered visitors that flock to our organic fields. At dusk we regularly see a Barn Owl hunting along the grassy margins of our organic fields.