A Visit from Our MP

Pest Management

You may recall a couple of months ago we were quoted in the houses of Parliament by our MP David Jones – he was taking part in a debate around the Grocery Code. We are now in Hansard!

Following that he suggested popping in to see what we were up to. So last Friday we had a visit from our MP.

During the meeting we showed him our unit and what we were up to in Denbigh, and then took him to our minimum till market garden up in Prion. We were a bit worried about his very shiny shoes (!) but fortunately the woodchip on the paths worked wonders!

Our constituency is obviously very rural and so it was good to present an alternative view with regards land use, and lack of pesticide and herbicide use. He was certainly interested in our ‘pest management strategies’. Whilst there we spotted that our newly planted out onions had been snipped by birds! Argh.. we quickly got the row covers on!

Tiny leeks before they were nibbled!

Hungry Gap is here

Harvesting has slowed down across the country and we are no exception. We don’t enough salad for all the boxes, and so we are just harvesting for the shop this week and even that will be limited to some chard, kale, spinach and some salad leaves. It is quite exciting that nature gives us this little window to use up all our dried, frozen and tinned goods that we have been storing in case of bad weather over the winter! That’s how we see it anyway.

Lots of Weeds

So whilst harvesting is limited, the acceleration in growth of weeds and our crops in the ground has been quite substantial. We are very grateful to Rosie and Dorota for all their hard work weeding and bed prepping to get crops in the ground.

This week we have planted out more lettuces, spinach, beetroot, spring onions, spring greens and broad beans. All these crops have been covered with mesh or fleece to protect them from the frosts and pesky birds and critters!! The broad beans are quite cool as we have planted these in rows next to the old kale stalks. These have died over the winter but produce a great structure for holding the mesh off the fast growing broad beans! I also spotted some ingenious use of willow to make some hoops  over one bed. I love seeing what solutions Rosie comes up with for various things.

In the green house, I pricked out a load more leeks and tomatoes, sowed the rest of our tomatoes, the cucumbers, more lettuces, beetroot, climbing french beans. Annoyingly a lot of our courgettes haven’t germinated so need to look into that and get more going.

Planning for Next Winter!

An interesting discussion that Rosie and I had yesterday was that we didn’t put as many tarps down this year over winter. Our reason for this was that we felt last year we ended up with so many mammals in the plot, and that the tarps might have facilitated this. Having not done it, our weed growth has been prolific meaning that we are a little bit behind on bed prep. It’s weird already planning what to do differently next winter, whether we get another visit from our MP or not!

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