hangover

Ten days of mercifully dry weather have given our harvesting teams a break from the mud and rain of the last month and enabled us to get on the lighter (sandy) land with machinery to harvest parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes. With the first daffodils about to burst into flower it is tempting to start manuring some of our better drained, south facing fields ready for early crops. In my youth the muck would have been flying and just occasionally it pays off, but with two months of winter to go with another foot of rain likely, the danger is that ploughed furrows slump and the nutrients end up in the river: so we will wait.

It may seem lame to be complaining about last summer but much of the veg now in your boxes started life back in the deluge of last June and July that leached soluble nutrients down through our soils, beyond reach of the developing roots. The plants lost valuable time, resulting in smaller yields and sizes. We have had some reasonable comments about the diminutive size of the cabbage and some of the cauliflower in the boxes which are particularly hungry crops, but the later crops are looking better so I think we are through the worst.

The other setback brought on by the damp was fungal disease which can reduce storing quality. Our potatoes are small this year but are keeping well and we should scrape through until our suppliers in Guernsey and the