Dealing with crop problems

In the field:

A lot of frustration! it’s been a stressful week on the produce front.

  • For some reason a lot of our leeks have started to go to flower – they should be standing until at least March! I don’t know whether it is to do with the weather or the soil.. but either way it is yet another wasted crop. We planted so many leeks! We’re currently throwing away about 20% but that is going to rise very quickly.
  • Then there’s our beetroot! We’re throwing away about 80% (!! argh) of what we’ve grown as it has been so badly eaten by mice and slugs. Know a lot of you (in the shop) have been talking about the slugs this year in your own gardens so am sure you’ll feel our pain. There isn’t a lot we can do other than let you know and apologise – we’d planned to put beetroot in the boxes and thought we’d have easily enough in the field..but this was not to be. We aren’t hugely happy with what has gone into the small boxes this week, but it really was all we had.
  • On the plus side the tomatoes have come on really well and the lettuces outside have a real crunch to them so that is pretty cool – we hope you enjoy those! [whilst we cry over the leeks and beetroot!!! – Liz]

Apart from harvesting – we’ve been clearing beds and getting winter crops in – these have been growing in the green-house since August and are desperate to get into the ground.. annoyingly a lot of the lettuce we planted last week has already been eaten – I think by slugs…. grr.

We’ve also been getting the wood chippings down on the paths. They really do make a big difference to the look and feel of the place.

Since the course in Falmouth I’ve been working on a new spreadsheet for planning our crops next year. So far it’s been hours of work and head-scratching, but hopefully worthwhile. I actually tried to implement this spreadsheet back in year one but I didn’t know what I was doing and failed quite spectacularly both in trying to complete the spreadsheet properly and then implementing that plan! 5 years in, I feel like I might have more success with it.

In order to implement the plan properly we have decided to invest in some mypex ground fabric. We had said we weren’t going to use this because it comes apart in the wind, but we are going to cut out the templated holes for the plant spacing over the winter (using a hot knife or blow torch) so that we are ready to go come spring and will need to do less weeding.. hopefully!

In the kitchen:

Made this chickpea curry last night – needed something super quick and easy and this worked. It’s a bit different to the one I shared the other day which was a Chana Masala – this one has coconut milk in.

Not sure about any other regular box people but we’ve got a bit of a carrot and onion backlog! So yesterday I made a bit bacth of roasted carrot soup – so good to use up a stash of veg and love having soup in the fridge / freezer to cut down cooking.

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