The Story So Far

Overall, 2011 was a good first year. As well as putting the polytunnels up, I supplied the farm shop and cafe with plenty of produce, including lots of lettuces, beetroot, spinach, rocket punnets, micro leaves, radishes and fresh wet garlic in spring (very exciting feeling to see someone in the farm shop wondering around with my very own veggies in their basket!).

Later in the year there was more lettuce and beetroot, plus some good carrots for bunching, broad beans, climbing beans, bags of multicoloured French beans, a few runners (blast those deer, they chomped the beetroot and courgettes too; will put in electric fencing next year), a few spring onions (they got a bit overcome with weeds), and early kale. Then harvest time was really busy, with tons of heritage tomatoes, great chilli peppers and lovely sweet peppers (need more next year); only a handful of baby aubergines (will try a new variety in 2012), and great knobbly mini cucumbers.

The broccoli (calabrese) was pretty good, and the smaller side shoots sold well in bags in the shop. The leeks were nice, but most were a bit small and I ran out before Christmas, doh. The rain in autumn meant that many caulis and Brussels sprouts were ruined by slugs (note: take the nets off earlier next time!), and there were fewer squash than I would have liked – maybe due to the soil, maybe the deer, maybe the dry spring/summer. Lots more experimentation for next year; I’m now selling to a few pubs and restaurants too, and the chefs there are keen to try some things out which they’re having trouble getting hold of, so time to start planning…

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