2020 what a year of change….
The pandemic lock down called for more local food, pity it began during the hungry gap, in March. Loads more people suddenly wanting to know how to grow for themselves, perfect time to start sowing seeds. So a busy spring getting mass production going early, teaching online zoom courses and mentoring land-owners who wanted to plough an acre for the first time to grow crops.
Late frosts, scorching hot weather with 3 months drought, followed by a period of cold nights and then hot tropical storms, gave us a challenging, up and down growing season. No trainee students to work the land with us and more direct sales then ever, meant hours of admin on top of long hours working the land. All of our 5 acres are now in horticultural production, but it’s not all about stuff to sell. We have developed space to enjoy, to contemplate, to walk barefoot, to feed your soul and spirit. We lunched the first of our Work and Well-being days to combat the aftermath of mental trauma following the Covid lock-down.
Now, in August, we are in glut season, harvesting 4 days a week, in larger quantities than ever before. Without the hoards of volunteers we are usually feeding 3 times a day, we actually have a lot more to sell. This year we also have virtually no pheasants on the land, a welcome change to the normal 50-100 roaming across our veg patch eating all our harvest. We can only presume because of the lock down, that no shoots have been going on and thus no pheasants released.
Our son Joe has been coming to the field most weeks to photograph the flower harvest. The aim to build up a week by week gallery of what is in season throughout the year. Watch this space.
We have more wildlife on the land than ever. For the first time we have barn owls, 5 babies this year. It has been a real treat to see and hear them on the land, keeping vole numbers under control. Also lots of baby blackbirds, they did demolish our currents, but they are also controlling the cabbage white caterpillars. Hedgehogs are seen nightly, snuffuling around in the search of slugs.
Here is a selection of some of my photos through this summer.