Buckwheat for the Bees

BuckwheatThis is buckwheat. We grow throughout the season flowers on which our bees can forage, like buckwheat. And phacelia. Both plants also very good for building up soil fertility. I believe that our area can no longer sustain honeybees naturally. The summers are too cold and there is lack of fowers for the bees. But we keep bees, we breed them. And we help them a bit, we let them express all their natural behaviour and overwinter them on honey, never feed sugar. And so we hope to make a little contribution to their survival. See if we manage, bee it as it may.

A Moving Week

LorieneenThis was a moving week, forgive me the pun. We said farewell to Adrien, our stalwart worker for many years, who moved out. We could no longer offer full time employment to Adrien due to us reducing the size of our business once more. And we said hello to Jennifer who moved in next doors and will work part time for us.

Our customers in Camphill have again taken over some of the work we did for them for many years which is good. But we are also reducing our poultry and veg growing work which is bad. Once upon a time we had a nice group of Demeter certified organic growers here with 40 acres of veg growing between us, of that group we are the only ones left in business now and on a much reduced acreage, hmm. There are good opportunities for our commercial work to expand but this will need successors to come on the scene. And there seems to be no sign of these at all in this part of the world. Do I hear soft violin music in minor key in the background?

Picture : art work by Adrien.

Packing Assistant Wanted

Spread the word spread the word. From this summer onwards we could do with a packing assistant for a couple of days a week and if the right person comes forward he or she can take over our little local box scheme too and develop this into a multi national corporation.(smile) Lembas International, to be sure. (smile)Working hours will be Monday and Tuesdays and our local boxscheme deliveries are wizzed round on the wednesday at the moment. We might have accomodation on the farm available for applicants from further away. Know of anyone ?

Chickens Are Go!

After being cooped up for far to long our chickens enjoy their freedom again. After the very first alert many years ago we build roofed over extensions to our henhouses which saved the day this time round. The hens had at least a bit of room to move. Still a lot of extra work with disinfection measures and so on.

Kale Kale Glorious Kale

End of January and our first crop of lettuces well on its way as never before. Climate change has made an impact here. Cooler wetter summers make outdoor vegetable growing more and more akward, we only grow kale now and a few peas for ourselves. But the polytunnels enjoy now a longer season and we were still cutting spinach in December last year for the first time ever. Bit of a challenge to keep the weeds down in the kale but the kale itself better than ever. Kale kale glorious kale.

Kale Glorious Kale
 
Polytunnel 
 

Lembas Make the Green Watch "Top 100" List

Top 100 GreenMatch has judged us to be amongst the 100 greenest initiatives in the UK. Very nice, although I am not so sure if there aren't many more green initiatives that have escaped attention. We do have a small list of green applications here at our place right enough and for the sort of business we are we are certainly not the worst. We will wear the badge with pride.

Looking back…

Looking Back...to our own news pages over the last sort of four years, well purslane never took off as a crop, imported lettuces remain strong favourites, pruning is now a steady winter job, lambslettuce does  a bit better, spinach  now occupies a third of our tunnels  in spring, building is repair and renewal only which is quite a job too , radish does well, strawberries a bit less due to lack of pickers, biodiesel was a total disaster, terrible repair bills due to

Lettuce Explain...

Organic LettucesThe first lettuces you get in Spring are the red salad bowl on the right of the picture, this is a reliable cold tolerant lettuce with little disease problems which we start sowing in February. The other lettuce you see are red batavian and little gem which we grow throughout the season in the tunnels now. We grow a red/green butterhead variety outside as well but with the poor summers we are having now this is getting like a bad habit. Maybe we should grow lettuces under cover only, but then it will be beautifull weather throughout the summer of course. Hum, maybe we should.

New House for Adrian

After what can only be described as one of those typical episodes of grand design with obnoxious kit supplier and contractors, our rural affordable house, called Talan, is build and ready for occupation. And not without us doing a lot of the work ourselves.

Pictured is Freya who has viritually managed the project by herself, hence the grey hairs, handingover the keys to Adrian who now not only works but also lives here. Can we now put our feet up? I wonder...

The Roof of the World

The roof of the world, or rather the roof of our double span polytunnel after a night of heavy snow and drifting. Just dug the gutter clean and now I will have to scoop and carry what feels like tons of snow of the plastic to the ends to prevent the tunnel from collapsing. A regular winter activity but this year there seemed to be no end of it. Plenty of snowmiles this year.
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