Sunday, 30 January 2011

Jottings for February

What a mish mash of a month January has been, but the evenings do seem to be drawing out and there is comfort in knowing that spring will soon be upon us. The bulbs are nudging through, with the crocus and snowdrops already showing colour and even the daffs seem to be on their way. I was expecting heavy losses in my autumn sowings, with the ground having been so cold, and there are some screaming gaps in the peas and broad beans. One area is a decimated patchwork of rotted and robbed.
I am going to fill the spaces with some more seed I think. In one row I look to have lost about half of them. I will still use the Aquadulce bean seed that I have kicking around. They are so much more robust for cold sowing. I am starting a few bits of veg seed on the window sill in pots too. I had planned big things for January, but struggled to find the enthusiasm (I only seemed to find time on the greyest days.) So a pinch of lettuce and a bit of cabbage in little pots for starters and then I will prick them out in a fortnight into a tray. It will give me about thirty plants and they will be ready for the ground by mid-March. I have managed to loosen a bit of ground for some onions and shallots and will hope to get them out in the next day or so. I was reminded over christmas of just how good shallots are. I had them roasted and pickled, and they are rather special. Home raised and home pickled onions are positively addictive too, so the space is dedicated. I have also been snatching a few spuds up. I am going to have another play with the early variety Volumia in some big pots. They were fantastic last year. I was offered them as early and suitable for baking (an unusual combination, the later varieties normally being better suited.) They were true to the promise and more. I am sticking them straight into pots, but will push them down well and will probably stand them inside if the weather turns bleak. I am not expecting to see much life for a month anyway. It is a bit of fun and not costly, if I lose them, I will just swap in some more.

And finally, as expected the winter has once again been very hard on the garden as a whole, with many shrubs and trees taking a real beating. Don't be hasty in digging things out and stall any cutting back until mid-March. Last year many things were dug up and condemned prematurely.

Happy Gardening

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Spuddy Buddy

What a crazy few days we have had. There have been lorries everywhere, laden with stock to ensure that we are set for the Potato Festival. We have had Onion sets,shallots,garlic,rhubarb,loose peas and beans,chemicals,compost and of course more potatoes.

It has all been good humoured too, well at least until Stephen started playing hide and seek. Clearly James was not impressed.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Double Dutch ?...not to Simon

Much to the joy of all on the site, our organic and Dutch potatoes all turned up this week and so we are on course for the big Potato Weekend. The dutch stock turned up in the dark as we were about to close and the driver was not terribly impressed by our lack of forklift. He was though clearly overjoyed at the fact that it took us just 20 minutes to offload 3 tonnes and send him on his way.

The celebration of the arrival was heard across the land and today we were joined by the press keen to support our promotion.

Here is Simon offering the photographer a few tips

Monday, 3 January 2011

After days of sweating over the silence from Scotland and the nightmare of starting 2011 with not a potato on the site,our suppliers pulled out the stops at the first hint of a thaw. The first of the new seasons seed arrived three days after Christmas. The off loading of 300 bags on the first day back the perfect antedote to the 'Christmas stuffing', even Simon our youngest team memeber was impressed.