A personal account by Finn, FarmStart trainee

I am Finn Payne, one of this year’s FarmStarters. 

I started this course so I can hopefully make something out of the land that me and my Dad purchased in Carlisle two years ago. I know how to grow plants as anyone will, but to know how to do it on a commercial scale and how to traverse all the hurdles that come with it is another matter. 

We are now at the halfway mark of the course and it has been a very informative and fun experience from all the in depth talks and lessons, to the laughing and little chats while weeding and carrying out tasks on the Plot. Our tutor Dennis is a well of knowledge, information, patience, and hard work and with his guidance I feel more confident in my own knowledge and capabilities. 

So far, we have planted seeds in cells to germinate in warm green houses and directly sown into the ground at Old Holly Farm. This is something I already knew how to do but while doing so my peers and Dennis drop little gems of knowledge, experience and information which I can then add to my own basket of tools. I find myself enveloped with like-minded individuals and in places I feel I am lucky to be a part of. I would say that even a well experienced gardener or grower would come out with some new knowledge that will make them more efficient. 

This month we have had some amazing courgettes and the rows of kale, purple and green, look so beautiful in the morning. The work can be hard but with upbeat and fun people around you soon forget it. 

I look forward to the next leg of my journey with the Plot and still continue to be filled with excitement and enthusiasm to learn new knowledge.


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