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.