A personal account from Jess Ogden, FarmStart trainee

With spring teetering ever closer and signs of nature and wildlife reawakening from winters’ slumber, the grazing pastures of Old Holly Farm have also risen with a new breath of life. With the help from our FarmStart trainees and volunteers we have watched the site transform from grazing pastures to the new beginnings of a market garden.

March has brought many firsts – achieving project milestones, discovery of new business models and exploration of science that underpins good soil health and horticultural land management. The rich amalgamation of conversations and ideas between FarmStart trainees, volunteers and fellow organic pioneers has been inspiring to say the least.

Regardless of a few wet days, March has been a productive and rewarding month. However, with every victory there’s always a lesson or two to be learnt. So, if you’re going to move mypex sheeting make sure you pick a day when the wind isn’t strong, as you may find yourself accidentally windsurfing down the A6 and that goes for horticulture fleece too!

We are also excited to start work at our indoor growing space at White Lund near Morecambe.   Having access to polytunnels will extend our growing season and enable us to grow a much wider variety of delicious vegetables. It needed some TLC and we had to wrestle some pesky sycamore roots out the ground but as the saying goes many hands make light work and now it is ready for action.

Another highlight was having local orchard legend Rod Everett from Backsbottom Farm pass on his apple grafting expertise to the team. He shared some of Lancashire’s very own heritage apple trees varieties. We very much hope that these will continue their legacy here at Old Holly Farm and hopefully one day be included in our veg box in the future and be delivered to your door!

But personally, my favorite moment so far has been watching our first sown seeds germinate and be transplanted in to the newly formed beds. This small action creates both hope and prosperity for the future to come. We can’t wait to see how the site continues to transform throughout the seasons and hopefully one day soon we will be delivering good ol’ local Lancashire organic veg to your door.

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