lust and bolts

After a very sunny and predominantly dry February, March proved more challenging. Despite the gales, rain and below average temperatures we managed to get most of the early crops planted more or less on schedule. The first lettuce, cabbage, spinach, chard and carrots are all in the ground, albeit in less than ideal conditions, and the first tomatoes are being planted in our tunnels as I write. Potatoes need a deep and fine seed-bed and there have been very few days when the soil has been dry enough so we are only a quarter of the way through the planting. However, Peter Wastenage (our largest co-op member), was able to plant in good conditions back in February due to his freely draining fields that run right down to the cliffs east of Exeter.

The cool weather has done nothing to restrain the growing lust of our over-wintered crops. Brought on by lengthening days and the knowledge that if they are to spread their seed it is now or never, the switch is thrown and the time for preparatory vegetative leaf growth is over. Reproduction is the focus out there and it is our job to see that it doesn