While closing up the tunnel doors for the evening, I noticed a local resident in one of the polytunnels, keeping guard over the salads and watching out for nibbling mice and voles hiding under the Mypex. So I’ve left one of the doors open a crack so he can get in and out – it’s nice and warm in there on a chilly evening…
Despite this freezing rain (is it me, or has it been weirdly consistently cold all February so far?), it was amazing to peek in the module tunnel this morning and see the first few shoots of rainbow chard poking up through the compost. Life! Poor little monkeys, they will get a bit of shock at the weekend when it drops to 0C again; still, fortunately chard is pretty hardy. I took this progress as a good omen, so promptly sowed 8 trays of early kale (1 tray of Redbor red curly kale, 2 Westland Winter green curly, 2 Red Russian & 3 Cavolo Nero).
Talking of Life, it’s also lovely to see the worm casts in the polytunnels, where the extra warmth and protection from winter has encouraged the soil biota to keep working, and the worms to turn the black woody compost and charcoal finings into ‘proper’ soil, by mixing it with the sandy clay loam I have. The black/brown effect is rather pretty, and indicates the amazing mass of life going on undergound which I’m mostly oblivious to, but which means the plants can grow.
I’m still (just about) picking the remaining kales sown from last year out in the field at the moment – the pigeons have a great time out there in the last few weeks, so I covered the PSB and some of the kale with a net, and have picked out the rest of the cavolo nero today. I thought I was going to get away with pigeon damage this winter and wouldn’t need to net, since they hadn’t really touched the brassicas even by mid-January. Just biding their time obviously, drat them.
Grown Green is currently looking to recruit a part-time assistant grower, to join this exciting and award-winning sustainable market garden near Bath; from April until at least October. Hours will be either 2 afternoons a week, or 1 day a week (8 hours per week – with the possiblity of more available work hours as the season goes on). Hours are very flexible and can be changed according to applicant’s circumstances (eg childcare/other commitments). Hourly rate is £7/hour for the first month (paid on a freelance basis), increasing after this probation period according to skill/experience. Some knowledge of horticulture/gardening is desirable, and a willingness to learn essential. Work here can also count towards the Soil Association’s Future Grower scheme if you have another placement for the rest of the week. Please send your CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org: closing date for applications is Monday 2nd March 2015.