The new compost bins are starting to be filled with larger stalks etc to allow air to circulate in their bases.
Salads are still being picked and outdoors, garlic bulbs are shooting well.
Winter, a time for discussions to plan ahead, while last year’s growth has ensured there’s still produce to be harvested and shared.
Here it is early January, a bright cold work day at the Diss Community Farm. Our coffee break is in the polytunnel, including some lovely cake and the usual speciality coffee.
The Rothwell’s son Caleb was there trying out his new drone. The farm is a good place for that, but he wasn’t yet ready to take aerial photos.
We had a good harvest of leeks, cabbage, brussels, and parsnips.
Ongoing work included digging a lot of pig manure into the polytunnels. And look at those salads coming along in the other polytunnel.
Following on from Gary’s notes, a few days later 22nd December was a beautiful day for uncovering brassicas, harvesting brussels sprouts, spreading muck, putting finishing touches to the storage area and repairing the caravan.
Only three days before Christmas, yet look at the salad crops growing well under cover – and tasting great.
Here we are now in mid-December. We are still getting nice harvests of winter vegetables, fabulous leeks, cabbages, sprouts, parsnips and more. But we are slowing down.
Much of our recent work has been preparation for the winter. This year we are in excellent shape, rather than feeling there is too much to do. We have lots of straw to spare, so we have been putting it on our paths to make them less slippery, and on beds that will be used in the spring, to kill the weeds, putting pig muck in the polytunnels. We have built a new set of compost bins at the far end of the field, and a new storage area near the shed, for bits and pieces like stakes, mypex, etc.
We’ll now be coming to the farm only every other week for awhile.
Today, 8th December, we harvested beetroot, celeriac, chard, leeks, parsnips, salad leaves and spinach.
Last week besides these veg, we harvested broccoli, brussel sprout tops, cabbage, kale, peppers, radish and rocket.
As can be seen, December 1st was a beautiful day. Spring onions were weeded, pea supports moved carefully to avoid having to construct them again and evening primrose seedlings planted to encourage bees next year.
There are newly constructed compost bins and straw now covers large areas of ground.
And as for the harvested cabbages, not a bad size…
It may be November but after an early morning frost, it was an excellent autumnal day, ideal for (among other odd jobs) planting autumn garlic (many hands quickened the process), while others removed runner bean stems and their supporting canes.
An orange creature was spied clearing dead lower leaves from brussels sprout plants.
Today’s yield was shared.
Straw bales were replaced to form a windbreak and water butts filled before lower temperatures arrive.
Altogether not a bad morning’s work.
Thank you to everyone who stopped to talk to us yesterday at our stall on the farmers’ market. Several of our members were on hand to explain our purpose of growing together and sharing the results.
Produce harvested this week was in display to underline the benefits – and all for around £1.50 per week that we pay for seeds etc, plus a few hours of your time. Certainly less time than would be necessary if you were to take on your own allotment, judging by the comparison that we were able to make with seasoned allotment holders. Well worth considering if you have limits on the time you can dedicate to growing.
We met a number of people who seemed to be attracted to our mission, and hopefully some will be sufficiently interested to follow up with a visit to see us at Winfarthing.
Our thanks go to the festival organisers for the opportunity to take part