In the first of our 'Farm Diaries' series, George Bennet from Sandy Lane Farm gives us an insight into day to day on an organic vegetable farm...
In March we were wondering when on earth we’d be able to start planting – it being cold and wet – and all following one of the most challenging summers last year, leaving the soil compacted and lacking vitality. Now the soil is warming up, we’re getting the odd sprinkling of rain to keep us going, and suddenly things are looking up. The lambs are all out, pigs are on firmer ground and our hay crops have jumped into action.
On the vegetable side, all of our potatoes have been planted out, with spinach, chard, broad beans, carrots and winter onions growing really well. Summer onions and leeks will be going in next week. Nearly 200m of bean poles have been erected (see pic above) ready for about 1500 bean plants and courgette and squashes are propagating nicely in plant trays. There have been lots of long, hard days but we’re pleased to actually be getting on with things.
Also some of our favourite local suppliers, who have more polytunnels than us, are starting to come through with spring fancies such as aubergines, cucumbers, courgettes and French beans – their tomatoes cannot be far behind.
We’re expecting to hit our peak supply by the end of June and for now, like our lambs, we at Sandy Lane Farm have a spring in our step