Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14th 2015.

The last of the Jerusalem artichokes are harvested and cleaned, about 20 boxes so hopefully Milfords of Exeter will take those. They had to come out anyway otherwise they will cause a problem growing next year where we dont want them. They are pink in colour unlike the more usual english white ones and although they taste the same they attract people purely on the colour. The wholesale markets are awash with similar french ones now so the price has dropped by nearly a third.
Fred and I also finished cleaning the garlic and hopefully this will all be sold by christmas. Penny is plaiting it into the onion strings along with chillies to make a very popular festive onion string!
The onions are just starting to sprout so will be pleased to see them all sold too.
All our beautiful chantennay carrots have finished and we are now buying in from Culm Valley organic veg. Obviously not as good as ours but the best substitute we could find ! Will have to double production next year if we can. The temptation is to grow them on 15inch row spacing rather than our current 30inch to achieve this, but then we are hand weeding more at the beginning of the season..... we`ll see.
Christmas box orders are flying in,  for  pick up on Christmas eve. If you would like one please order by saturday19th latest.

Its been our busiest season ever so both looking forward to well earned break over christmas and new year.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hi everybody,

Today I'm going to speak about the brassicas. In this period of the year they are quite well developed, the only thing they need is to mature a bit more before harvest.
Unfortunately, this year on the farm we can observe some diseases and some patches where the brassicas haven't grown very well

This pest responsible is called the swede midge, which can be active in the South West. It induce the stop of the production of the fruit.
We suspected that all the problems have been caused by a  mistake on two rows which was plant two years consecutive brassicas in the same place.

So that a good example of what you have not to do!!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hello !!!
   Today was a raining day, a perfect North Devon day.  This weather is a real source of energy for all the crops in the fields. Thanks to this, courgettes double in size in two days, the broads beans multiply, and the carrots and the beetroots are absolutely ready to be dug up.

   In contrast, the alternating between sunny and rainy days further  develops  fungal diseases. Mushrooms love these conditions of moist and warm and that is why we can see some attacks on the potatoes and on the onions.

The only thing to do is to harvest as fast as possible or try innovative treatments like spraying the powdery mildew on the onions with milk. We will see the result !! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hi !!!

My previous article was about how to prevent pest attack in an organic way. It doesn't mean that we want to fight all the insects. On the contrary, several of them are very useful and we need strategies to attract them.
That is why I'm going to talk about the Phacelia. This crop is interesting for several reasons.

-Firstly it attracts insects, especially the ones which eat the very damaging aphids. Also, it's a good flower for the honey bees. Listen to this !!!

- Secondly it's important to always have the soil  covered to prevent erosion and waste of minerals. In that way Phacelia is a crop with high covering power and easy to grow. Also, it facilitates a clean crop bed which minimizes the weeds. The weeds are smothered by the phacelia.

- The last point is that this flower is a good green manure, so, an excellent crop to use as a soil improver before the main crop is planted.(which, next year , will be alliums).

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hello everybody,

A new busy week begins. We have to harvest flowers and plant some vegetables (brassicas, leeks, sweet corn...). So the problem is, how to protect vegetables from pests such as slugs and other insects in an organic way.
I am going  to talk about two differents means.
- First, we can use some pellets against the slugs. They contains iron and potassium which destroy the digestive system of the mollusc. Anyway, it dosn't impact on the others animals which could be useful for the crop.
- Another way to protect the young plants is to cover them with an enviromesh. It's a net with very little holes to prevent insects, and bird attacks. It could also protect from the bad weather.
The problem is that if the enviromesh  prevent pests, but it also blocks  the good insects ...

That is why we have to weigh up the pros and cons for each solution that we plan to do.