Finally we have got almost all of the outdoor plantings done for our restaurant and veg bag customers - just a few salad leaves, and the garlic to plant next month and that's about it. Because we try and make the most out of all of the space in the garden we are often trying to clear beds of old crops as soon as they are over and replace with new plantings straight away. This is great to make sure that the garden is as productive as possible, but it is a lot of work and we got a little bit behind this summer with getting all of the plantings in on time, but hopefully it will be a good, warm autumn so the plants settle in nicely. Below is all of the chicory that will go into our salad mix throughout late autumn and winter. We have about 25 varieties this year, trialling various ones that we have never tried before, to try and get a real good mix for the salad, but also varieties that mature at different stages and have different levels of hardiness to ensure that we have leaves throughout the winter.
The seed that was harvested from seed crops is now drying in the propagating tunnel and is ready for threshing as soon as we have a moment (hopefully in the next week or two). Below is the Golden Chard seed that we have grown for Real Seeds in Wales.
Next few weeks...
We have a busy week next week - we have decided to reskin one of our polytunnels that has been up for almost ten years. The timber rails were pretty rotten and it wouldnt have lasted another winter, so we have taken the plastic off and will be replacing all the timbers and plastic (hopefully next week). This is usually quite a big job, so we will try and fit it in around the harvests! We also need to prepare lots of beds that we have cleared - the courgette beds and beetroot have been cleared and need reforming so that we can get the green manures established for overwinter. Then there is lots of sowing to be done, for the overwintering salads that will be planted in the polytunnels. This has already started, and will continue over the next couple of weeks, and then we will gradually take out some of the summer crops and replace them with salad leaves to ensure that we have plenty from mid autumn through to spring.
What's in the bags at the moment?
More late summer and autumnal crops are featuring in the bags now - with some lovely autumn hispi type cabbages having gone in this week. The squash will start going in in a week or two, and then in October we will probably start to buy in a bit more produce to supplement our own. Our friends Adam and Dee have been growing produce near Honiton and we will be getting more of the autumn and winter crops from them as we just don't have the space or the soil type to be growing those crops here.
The padrons are still producing a fair amount, and will continue through september along with the tomatoes, which are past their peak production, but we are still getting a fair few. The courgettes finished quite early for us this year - they tend to get mildew early here as we are in a bit of a valley and airflow isnt great, so we decided to mow them down and cultivate so that we can prepare the beds for sowing a green manure to protect the soil overwinter, ready for early crops next year. The french beans are also starting to slow down a lot, so these will probably carry on for another couple of weeks.
Our second succession of cucumbers are going mad at the moment, so we have been putting an extra free one in the bags.
We are anticipating that we will continue doing the organic veg bag deliveries up until Christmas, and then stop until around mid February. We then plan to restart just doing fortnightly deliveries for a month or two until our full production gets going. We will keep you posted about our plans, but thats the plan for now!
Also, we have more spaces available for deliveries to East Devon and West Dorset (Axminster, Kilmington, Seaton, Colyton, Charmouth, Lyme Regis and surrounding areas) so if you have any friends who are interested in getting a veg bag get them to get in touch!
Ashley has been running Trill Farm Garden since 2010 with his partner Kate. Ellen is the Senior Grower and Seed Coordinator at Trill Farm Garden.