Remember those balmy days at the end of February where we all thought that this year would not see anything like the beast from the east of 2018?
Well didn’t the weather change this week? Ian had to put in an extra flying visit to secure the doors on various poly tunnels on Wednesday evening after the gales. He declared it not much of a week for outside work and remarked that he was giving an extra hand as shepherd to one of his neighbours during their lambing period which was not going well at the time of talking.
Yesterday the rivers escaped their banks along the Tyne Valley and flood warnings were issued. Snow that has happened elsewhere in the district overnight Friday to Saturday seemed not to have settled more than briefly locally. Think we were too early in thinking no beast from the east type weather this year.
Storm Freya wasn’t as windy as in other areas – just the environmesh blown around. Ian, our grower, is going to source some heavy duty chain to hold down the covers in the future to try and save the continuing battle of replacing wind blown covers that have the wild life access to our crops before we get to pick for crop shares.
The rain that has accompanied Storm Freya and continued after she left has been most welcome. It has helped with the continuing digging of the hot compost no dig beds. Luckily this job is coming to the end for the season. Mispoona and green choi sum have been planted out in some of these beds this week. Two new crops to the system there – the green choi sum does go to seed very quickly in warm weather though so a cooler weather crop.
And finally this year’s compost heap has been closed off. It’s rotting down a treat in preparation for the summer crop of pumpkins.
Our tunnel team – at work on the All Hands Saturday morning. It was great weather for dressing a skeleton. And thanks to work share Jola for the pictures.
The follow up team has fitted one small door. Ian our grower and volunteer Chas have plans in hand to fit the necessary guttering and ventilation. That will just leave the remaining two doors to fit. There’s a lot more to fitting up a working poly tunnel than just putting up the frame and adding the big cover isn’t there?
More space for leaves… and tomatoes, chillies, cucumbers at Go Local Food!
Wondering what Ian our grower has planned for our refurbished tunnel? A new cover was lifted into place last weekend after the shout for volunteers at the All Hands Saturday session – but you’ll notice we still need doors! Wondering what the collective noun for tunnels might be – flotilla perhaps?The refurbished tunnel has been christened ‘Bill’s Tunnel’ in honour of member Sue’s dad, and a very kind donation that helped us buy the materials to finish the job. Thank you Sue.
Such fantastic weather – for February? Which could also be the first challenge of 2019. The Chinese Greens which we might have been harvesting in a few week’s time have gone from shoots to seed in a matter of days.
Everything is growing apace but what will happen should we get a cold spell? It is quite likely we will. Last year we had a similar situation, the ‘beast from the east’ managed to damage or wipe out a good chunk of our young plants, and as a result the growing season took on a different shape… But today the fields and tunnels looked stunning!