The planting has continued over the last couple of weeks, but we have noticed that the intensity of the work has lessened a little as the bulk of the garden is full of plants. However, it never stops and we continue to replant beds that have had early crops in already and we are planting the second round of crops.
The rain that we have had over the last few days has really helped to water in some of the more recent plantings and made some of the more established crops look much more lush. The courgettes are almost ready - we have been eating the first few, and we should have enough for the bags maybe at the end of next week or certainly the week after.
It is this time of the year that thoughts of autumn and winter already start popping into our heads as we plant kale for autumn, leeks and squash for harvests later in the year. It is always strange to be thinking of the winter at this time of the year and we certainly don't want to be thinking about it too much, but as growers it is important to be organised and think ahead to the next stages to make sure that we are making the most of the space that we have available and to make sure that we have a continuity of produce throughout the year. Ellen is working on the plans for overwinter in the tunnels to make sure that we have enough seed for sowing and to make sure that we have plenty of early produce for the veg bags next spring.
We are nearing the longest day of the year and this often marks a slight change in growth patterns of plants. We will soon see more of the fruiting plants like tomatoes, courgettes etc. providing us with produce, and some of the crops that are more likely to go to seed earlier in the year will be less likely to do so.
This coming week sees more sowing, planting and weeding! We will be mowing down some of our amazing green manures (integral to organic growing methods) that we sowed at the end of April to cover the soil and add organic matter, these will then be covered in black plastic to speed up the decaying process and we can then plant crops straight into the beds without cultivating hopefully.
In solidarity with Black Lives Matter
We stand in solidarity with the Black community and people of all races who are protesting across the world demanding justice and bringing an end to systemic racism. We are proud members of The Landworkers Alliance who are a union of small to medium scale farmers, growers and landworkers and work to create healthy and just food and farming systems for all. Central to this is dismantling systemic racism. Food justice is inseparable from social justice. BAME communities and particularly Black people are most at risk from food insecurity and racism is prevalent in the industrialised food system that we are all a part of. We will be working to provide more opportunities to people from BAME communities as we look to link our traineeship programme with some of the horticultural training that our friends in urban areas provide.
To read more about the work that the Landworkers Alliance and other food and farming groups are doing to help dismantle the systemic racism in our food and farming systems go to the Landworkers Alliance Solidarity statement
What's in the bags at the moment?
Some of the produce in our box scheme deliveries at the moment is slightly more unusual and the sort of thing that can't necessarily be found in supermarkets. We like to grow a wide range of organic vegetables to keep things interesting. Agretti (also known as Monk's beard) will be featuring through the summer and is a lovely Italian vegetable which we have grown for a few years now. It can simply be blanched and then mixed with a bit of fried garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Kohl rabi has gone in the bags this week - this is lovely just sliced thinly and eaten raw with a vinaigrette. The aztec broccoli will be ready in a week or two - this is another green which we started growing last year and can be treated like spinach.
Courgettes may feature in some of the bags by the end of this week, and we will have the first of the baby bunched carrots from the polytunnel. The sugarsnap peas from the tunnels are over now, but we will have mangetout for a few weeks and the beautiful purple Beauregarde pea will be ready in a week or two (see picture below).
With more and more of our own organic produce being harvested now we are opening up to a few more door to door deliveries in East Devon and West Dorset, with some spaces in Axminster, Seaton, Kilmington, Shute, Lyme Regis, Rousdon, Colyton and Charmouth. Please spread the word to your neighbours and friends and get them to get in touch with us at email@example.com for more information about the organic box scheme.