A personal account by Martin, FarmStart trainee

I am Martin, I’m one of this year’s FarmStarters.

I wanted to do this course to make a transition to more land based work/living. I recognise the positive impact upon my own health and well being when working outside within natural environments.

Having worked in more sedentary roles during my career it is such a refreshing change to be more physically active at the Plot.

My fellow cohort of FarmStarter’s are a joy to work alongside. We all have varying backgrounds/experience of growing and it is great to learn from each other.

This month, as a group we visited ‘Libby Flintoff Organic’s’. The farm visit was an opportunity to see another commercial operation who supply organic produce on a large scale. It was interesting to see the well organised and productive operation that this wife and husband operation, run together. On the tour we were joined by the Kindling Trust’s FarmStarters too. There was also flapjack and tea afterwards.

At Old Holly Farm this month we have been harvesting potatoes, planting leeks and preparing beds for more lettuce. Growing in succession ensures we can provide a continuous supply right throughout the season. I’m always amazed how great the vegetable boxes look. There is now comparison to be made between a supermarket bought salad bag and one of the Plot’s organic mixed salad bags with their edible flowers providing a jewel in their crown. They are not only tastier, fresher and more nutritious but also prettier too.

We also spend part of our week at the White Lund site working in the polytunnels. It is highly rewarding to see how the degraded soil is enriched and built up through adding organic matter. The beautiful tomatoes, squashes and courgette’s are testament that the soil quality is improving and it’s been a joy to see the second polytunnel go from a disused space to one that is ready to be a highly productive growing site.

We continue to be wonderfully supported throughout our FarmStart journey by Dennis, Lucy and Ellen. With their knowledge, help and encouragement they are making this growing season a joy to be a part of.

Photo from Farm Visit to Libby Flintoff Organics

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