onion millions, floods + irrigation

As spring picks up speed here on the farm, things are hotting up in more ways than you can shake a stick at. We’ve moved some of the picnic benches outside the farm offices so we can enjoy the spring sunshine during our breaks and look across the field at the wet garlic, which is really coming on well. Red kites have been circling overhead (three at once the other day), whilst the lapwings are going mad. What a great place to work! Come and see for yourself at our Open Farm Sunday on June 12th.

As well as the usual flood of jobs that come up in spring, we have also been doing some repairs after an old land drain leaked and created our very own wetland. The only problem was that it sat in the middle of the wet garlic field, but after some hefty digging the water now flows safely round into a tributary of the famous River Nene.

Meanwhile some serious planting has started with a total of 33 acres of white and red onions; that’s around five million onions in total for Sacrewell and the other Riverford farms (our land is particularly well suited to onions; dry and well-drained). Broad beans are also in, and the first little gem lettuce, chard and pointed cabbage plants will be successively sown over the coming weeks to give us a steady supply during the summer.

It is great to see the barley poking through (grown as part of our crop rotation to maintain soil fertility – you won’t be finding barley in your vegbox anytime soon) but we could do with a little shower to give it a lift or we will have to irrigate. On the subject of irrigation, the reservoir at the top of the farm holds quite a lot of wildfowl at the moment; an array of ducks, geese and a pair of very graceful swans.

Sorry if it has rained before you get this newsletter but they make me write it a week in advance, still, it’s easier than planning our crops a year ahead like we have to!

Gordon Twigg, General Manager

P.S. It’s business as usual for us over Easter, so expect your delivery on your normal day.