spring sowing, muddy kids + first lambs

As our spring planting starts in earnest, we are also busy stripping the last of the 2010 overwintered crops. The harsh winter was generally devastating veg-wise, so it is impressive to see such healthy leeks coming out of the ground.

Potato planting actually started during the last week of February with Colleen, the first early variety, and our new variety Casablanca. They are covered with fleece to keep them warm and free from any ground frost…well, that’s the theory. Casablanca is supposed to be ready two weeks ahead of other varieties so hopefully your new potatoes will arrive a little earlier this year (just thinking about new potatoes makes my mouth water!). Elsewhere, broad bean and beetroot seeds are in the ground and the rest of the soil has been prepared for the next onslaught of planting.

The farm reopened for school visits on March 7th and it’s great to have the energy that children bring buzzing through the place again. A new activity for this year is having them planting seeds and getting their hands dirty in our new polytunnel. It’s been kitted out with planting tables and raised beds so they’ll be able to plant lettuce and other salad stuff into pots and also transplant from trays into the beds. We can then use the produce in the tearoom where the kids can actually see it being prepped, served and eaten, and the whole message of ‘where food comes from’ becomes a reality.

Meanwhile, the first lambs of the year have been born on the farm, with mums and babies doing fine. We have installed a live webcam in the shed so that you can see the lambs being born as it happens; this is proving really popular so take a look at www.stockleyfarm.co.uk.

The farm is open every day through April with lots going on at this special time of year, lots of new arrivals and lots of fun to be had. Remember, April 16th is our Riverford on Stockley Farm Spring Party, so head over to join in our egg hunt, ride on the tractor, feed the lambs, and get stuck into our super organic food and drink.

John Walton 

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