Seeds sown and plants planted in their 1000s…
We had fun at our latest CropShare farm day sowing seeds and planting plants in massive numbers as it gets up to the busiest time of year for the farm. CropSharers also fed the farm’s youngest lamb and we kept ourselves busy collecting eggs, hoeing and planting.
We had a hard-working seed crew who sowed out a few thousand seeds into module trays! Once grown the plants will be put in the field after it warms up, and get a head start over the weeds.
The detailed stats are that the seed crew sowed 1000 squash, 750 courgette and 4000 cabbage seeds…good going!
Meanwhile at the broad beans, sown by CropSharers successionally since last autumn, we cleared weeds by hoeing it good and proper.
And we also found uses for some weeds… here we are sporting the season’s must have scentless mayweed moustache.
Our CropSharers are a canny bunch and loads of them noticed that there are potato plants springing up next to the broad beans.
There were potatoes in this field last year, so some tubers that got missed in the harvest are starting to send up new growth now. In our own gardens or allotments you could leave these and harvest them, but it gets a bit fiddly on a field scale to manage bits and bobs of crops all over.
Plus any carry over of potato pests or viruses on these random potatoes will mess up the rotation- the land needs a rest from growing spuds for a few years to get the best yield. So these volunteer potatoes, leftovers from last year, were hoed up as well. Soz potatoes its a cruel world!
If you are interested in Polyveg (or Polyculture)- a permaculture technique of growing lots of veggies together, which works really well in allotments and gardens, check out this article in the Permaculture Magazine ( @PermacultureMag on Twitter) and the Permaculture Association’s advice. In Cambridge there’s some polyveg beds on Dave Fox’s allotment which you can see and tend if you join in on the Transition Cambridge Grow Your Own project throughout the season.
The autumn sown broad beans are quickly developing, and have flowers and small pods forming. Woop!!
The flowers are bee pollinated, CropSharer Dave kindly gave the farm a honey bee swarm last year, see the great video of him moving the bees into their new home on the farm here. Unfortunately those bees didn’t survive the harsh extended wintery weather we had this year, but we will persevere with another hive this year!
CropSharers also had fun on the tractor mounted planter, storming through and planting 6000 leek, 2000 spring onion and 2000 brassica plants. Pretty good going ay?! Well done guys!
We’ve posted videos before of how this machine works, CropSharers load plug plants from modules (or seeds) onto a conveyor belt. If you’re interested in how this machine works at the back end, here’s a video of brassica plants being pressed into the earth by the 2 wheels underneath each of the CropSharers’ seats on the machine. Clever bit of kit!
Then of course is was time to feed the farm’s littlest lamb, Milly. She’s feeding more from her mum now when her big brothers let her have a look in, and eating more grass. Go Milly!
Also on the farm there are 2 friendly ferrets that are very popular to play with!
I love ferrets! Here’s a video of ferret antics filmed by CropSharer Matt:
CropSharers are always rewarded for their hard work on the farm with some seasonal fruit/veggies and spending time with the farm animals.
Today CropSharers got to take away some Korona variety of strawberry plants and bunches of some very tasty brassica sprouts. Taste great steamed!
Lunchtime, lunchtime, lunchtime. It keeps getting better and better!
Farmer Doreen’s hot soup with fresh farm veggies, and loads and loads of different dishes from CropSharers to try. Thanks guys!
And the deserts this time… OMG
Farmer Doreen and me (Helen) also tried out some games we are thinking to put on for this years Harvest Party, OR NOT. I wonder if the “Potato bag on head race” will catch on….erm…Don’t try this at home kids.
Farmer Doreen is training her horse Larry to pull a small trap, he’s not ready yet but in the mean time trap rides are still fun for the kids with Farmer Doreen at the reins!
Thanks to Matt, Ben and Axel for great photos and videos of today! See you on the farm soon!