This week’s crop share: Potatoes, green onions, lettuce, broad beans, radish and cucumber.
While more leeks are being planted outside, there’s plenty going on in the polytunnels. The very first tomatoes have set fruit, the cucumber plants are all in and aubergines have been planted too! They’ve been inter-planted with beans so as to make best use of the available growing space.
And there was a welcome visitor in the polytunnel too. There seem to be plenty of ladybirds around this year.
This week’s crop share will be
New potatoes, green onions, lettuce, baby broad beans, radish and cucumber.
We’re still in the Hungry Gap before the abundance of summer, but there are all the hopeful signs that this will soon be behind us. The first courgettes have been planted in the polytunnels and the tiny fruits are just appearing. Beware though… turn your back on them for too long and they turn into giants!
Out on the field we continue to make sure we’ll be well fed during the winter, and the leeks are being planted using corn-starch membranes to keep the weeds down. Approximately 750 have been planted so far but there’s hundreds more to go!
Gosh there’s been a major planting out session over the last few days:
- 2 rows of peas straight into the ground
- 25 donated courgettes which seem to be surviving the winds that have blown this week (and previous ones
- 280 winter brussels sprouts planted out through membrane (gosh that’s a lot)
- Purple sprouting broccoli, summer cabbage, summer brussels sprouts
- There are plans to do another sowing of broad beans (probable) and then French beans to fill up the spaces outside
That is quite some hard work undertaken by the work shares over a week.
Pea and bean fences need to be erected – it’s the time of the year to be planting out these crops on the field. More peas will have to be sown direct into the ground as the growing on space in the poly tunnels is full to bulging point. So that’s three peas to a station – one for the rodents, one for the slugs and one for the crop shares.
Another area of mypex membrane has been laid. Plans for this area include one more row of winter Brussels sprouts and probably another five rows of purple sprouting broccoli. There is a plan to space the sprouts 18 inches apart and under plant with summer cabbages. This is space saving in order to prevent the brassica crops taking over the world and certainly all of Go Local Food’s outdoor growing spaces.
Most of the sweetcorn has been planted out – just another half row to go. The rest of the half row will be taken up with sweet potatoes. Yes, some are being kept in the poly tunnels as these are heat loving vegetables. Despite its name the sweet potato is not a potato at all! This tasty root vegetable is a member of the Ipomoea family; the same genus as the popular flowering climber ‘Morning Glory’. You will certainly notice the family resemblance from their pretty trumpet shaped flowers and vigorous spreading growth habit. Just a bit of useless information!
Ian our grower is contemplating another sowing of carrots – Norwich he says which are an F1 Hybrid second early Nantes type ideal for harvesting from July till early September. Then he thinks that a sowing in October for over wintering might happen.
Swedes need to be sown in small cells to give them a head start – one seed to a cell which is no easy thing as the seeds are so small. These need to be pricked out into the ground as soon as the first leaves appear as it is very easy to set swedes back.
Some herbs have been transplanted – dill, rocket and coriander. There’s a story here. The first sowing of coriander in small pots came to nothing so another sowing was thrown into seed trays in an effort to get germination. Of course this grew. So now – pricking out. Typical. Fingers crossed that it works. Anyway – a lot of the herbs are being planted in the small poly tunnels between the tomato plants. Where there are large quantities, the old system of using buckets to allow members to cut their own will happen as usual.
Do you remember the Rusby wrapper from previous years? This excellent machine designed by one of our members (called Mr Rusby of course) is out in action again behind the tractor. At least a couple of rows of membrane are needed in the road field and about a third of our other field needs covering. Plans are to get the leeks planted out through said membrane soon you see.
Sadly some membrane will still have to be laid by hand in the difficult spaces where tractor and wrapper will not go. The Rusby wrapper certainly makes life easier than in times gone by when all membrane had to be laid by hand before planting.