Welcome to the website of Diss Community Farm, we are a community group based in and around Diss who have come together to produce food collaboratively in an ethical and sustainable way.
We have a field in Winfarthing, together with three polytunnels; where we meet to work weekly, including harvesting whatever is ready. Whoever is working that day takes home a box of freshly harvested vegetables.
See the About us and How to join page for more information.
The tomatoes are ripening well, helped by the removal of side shoots and lower leaves, and for the very tall plants, extra tying to supports.
Companion planting can prove beneficial, seen here where marigolds are growing next to tomatoes.
Pumpkin plants are being pruned to ensure goodness is directed to the pumpkins.
Little “critters” (slugs/snails) have enjoyed the dwarf French bean leaves but the beans themselves are fine.
As always, the coffee break is welcome, as is the baking.
And at the end of the morning’s work, today’s colourful harvest is shared.
Each year our garlic, onion and potato harvests are shared out equally between members, who store them at home, and for some the garlic and onions will last until the crop for the following year.
The 2017 garlic harvest has been of four varieties, with the weight of each member’s share following the name of the variety; Arno (558g), Cristo (682g), Thermidrome (846g) and Thermidour (1,551g).
Seed garlic is our most expensive annual outlay but with with 2.4kg each to see us through the winter, this seems to be a good investment in locally grown garlic raised using organic principles.
I’m doing a catchup as I’ve been without broadband for 15 days, so these photos were taken mid-July.
Garlic and onions were left to dry, first in the polytunnels and then outdoors, using any available flat surfaces.
Slugs and snails have had a go at the outer leaves of red cabbages. Other brassicas and some lettuces are under-cover, while peas and lettuces were growing well on one of the experimental no-dig beds (“were growing” as now they’ve been picked).
After a shaky start the leeks are now progressing, while the scarlet runner beans, sunflowers and sweetcorn are definitely “doing well”.
After a very cool July, we had masses of green tomatoes, growing from the floor to the roof of the polytunnels. It remains unsettled but slightly warmer temperatures are finally seeing the tomatoes and peppers ripen to join the flow of aubergines. This week’s photo shows four members boxes ready to take home. Given that each member currently pays £75 a year for our running costs, including seeds, then each box costs around £1.50 a week. OK you have to add in your time, but it looks good value to us, compared with the commercial vegbox schemes.
So if you live close to Diss come and join us. We are a pretty friendly group, and there is always good cake and coffee for our 11.00 break on Thursdays.
The temperature hot for a flaked out dog but the heat musn’t stop work; jobs such as sowing plants, harvesting veg in a polytunnel and weeding among the strawberry plants.
Home-grown plants are ready for transferring to prepared patches, while the yield in our take-home boxes looks good; carrots, cucumber, chioggia beetroot, cylindra beetroot, spinach, peas and broad beans. And tastes good too…
It’s great that, although only May, under the protection of a polytunnel, early crops of peas and broad beans are being picked.
Healthy looking tomato plants are given the support of canes and string.
Other seeds sown at home by plant “parents” and now brought to the farm, include aubergine and pepper plants.
This year we’ve been aided in our rotavation of patches (thanks). These have then been covered temporarily to suppress weed growth.
Of course elsewhere weeds multiply, so the strawberry patch is being tackled.
A layer of weeds is added to a compost bin, followed by a layer of manure.
But what we do need is rain.
Simon tying string to canes to support tomato plants in polytunnel at DCF.
Outdoors, last year’s chard and spinach are still producing well, while under cover, salad veg are being picked and early broad bean plants are in flower.
Outdoors, autumn planted garlic and new broad bean plants are growing well – and weeds being kept under control.
Patches are being rotovated, pea seedlings and onions planted and leek seeds sown.
All getting a good start in the warmth. Far lower temperatures are forecast for next week but also some needed rain.