A welcome text message from our neighbour and friend Jon whilst we were at the Arch on Saturday told us that at long last the long awaited rain was indeed falling at Fern Verrow. During our usual Sunday morning farm walk we thrilled by the growth of the grass and our crops thanks having had a few inches of rain. The spinach and lettuce were looking beautiful, and we relished the harvest on Friday which meant we would be bringing these two beauties to you an Saturday. On Monday evening however we had more stormy weather, but this time it came in the form of rather large hail crystals. This had a devestating effect on our lovely lettuce and spinach… ripped to shreds! So sadly our first outdoor leaves will be delayed by a couple of weeks. Never mind, the upside of the hail meant that the Weavils and little caterpillars that were munching away on some fruit bushes, were also knocked to the ground and crushed by icy hail!
We have of course been very productive this week, hoeing beans and courgettes, which are both off to a good early start. Yesterday we spotted the first red strawberry, and have netted ( against birds) and laid down fresh straw for the ripening fruit to lie on. We are expecting (fingers crossed) a bumper crop, with the first berries being available in a couple of weeks… strawberries in May who’d of thought it. A new bed of seakale has been planted, some say it is more delicious than asparagus, this will hopefully be available next march, so we must read up about it and tend to it well. It is always nice to plan and learn for a new species and yes it may or may not be more delicious than asparagus, but it will be very welcome early spring.
All the animals are doing well, lambs growing fat and looking happy. Piglets escaping from their pens rather annoyingly, but it does entertain the dogs to chase them around the vegetable beds. They soon run off a great speed back to Mamma.
Despite the loss of the spinach and lettuce, we have some very nice crops for sale this week from around the farm. Swiss chard, salad leaves, herbs, fresh onions are all on top form. We will be cropping some broad beans and peas that have been raised over the winter in a patch in the greenhouse. Not only do they supply us with a nice crop, but their deep penetrating root systems are of great benefit to the soil, which in this area of the greenhouse can tend to be quite heavy.
Sausages for sale this week, bacon and hams next week. Tristan in the kitchen this week cooking lunch.