April/May 2020 News
We had plenty of sunny, windy days in April which dried the ground out enabling us to get on with ploughing, cultivating, potato and onion planting, seed sowing and transplanting. We had started to irrigate some of the newly transplanted crops with trickle tape but then thankfully a few wet days came to the rescue (yes, after all the wet weather late winter/early spring we still needed rain a few weeks later!) We planted another 2 acres of spinach and chard (about 6,500 plants!) on Saturday 9 May and hoping for some rain to water that in although that may be wishful thinking - just wind and pigeons to contend with so far!
We feel like we have adapted well to our social distancing working practices now and are thankful that all our staff are fit and well and we can all keep on growing, harvesting, packing and delivering your vegetables.
Hungry Gap - it’s still that time of year when our own crops are coming to an end and we’re only just starting to get the new crops planted/sowed - we have gaps in supply of some of our greens but our green garlic is ready already, as well as our new season's kale (this is fairly delicate and doesn't keep as long as the maincrop leaves). We have also harvested some salad and annual spinach from the in-conversion glasshouse.
Turtle doves – we are doing some supplementary feeding for turtle doves this year in conjunction with the RSPB – their lovely purring has been heard in the area of Ripple Farm this spring but we’ve not yet heard them on the farm. I did have a red kite hovering above me the first time I scattered the seed though.
Green Garlic is one of our earliest crops to be ready in the spring, it looks like a mini leek for a start but is easier to recognise once the bulb starts to form - (smell or taste a bit of the leaf if you’re not sure). Use all of the garlic, as you would a spring onion – great in salads and stir frys.