The weather tide has changed at last. After such a wet winter and a very cold spring we cannot wait to get started on a new seasons plantings. All being well we will be ploughing and preparing ground next week. We have to admit a sense of nervousness after what can only be called nature’s onslaught of the past nine months but spring has sprung and farming has always been an unpredictable business.

While we are up to date sowing our transplants they are however about two weeks behind in maturity due to the cold weather. A warm May could easily correct this.

This year will be quite a challenge personally. I have had to have two eye operations for macular holes which renders me not able to resume heavy work again until late June . I have a great team who have to pick up the slack.  I am still able to encourage and do light duties. Passing on the work that was my domain was never going to be easy but now i have no choice. This might be nature’s way to remind me I am 66 in June and passing on some of the heavy work might well be a good idea.

Farming is not just a job. It is a lifelong  experience of learning and the way we farm adds another dimension of creative challenge, experiment and interest. Over the next few years I will hand over more of the responsibilities but I hope to be able to continue to play with the butterflies for some time yet.

 We have just started to implement a step towards minimum tillage as pioneered in Canada by Jean Fortier and Curtis Coleman. It is a growing method using permanent beds with minimum soil disturbance. We already do this in our tunnels very successfully.  Working with their templates and adapting them to our climate is something I really want to experiment with so there is still much to do before I hang my hoe up. I will keep you updated on this and this year I promise we will have an open day for customers to come see where and how your veg are grown. We might even manage to cook up some pizza in our cob oven for you.

John