A personal account by Jo, a FarmStart trainee

It has been a dry June at The Plot. 

With June came the arrival of the first (green but lovely looking) tomato fruits in the Polytunnel at White Lund in Morecambe, and the first salad flowers in bloom at Old Holly Farm. I had the privilege of watching the peas emerge, pod up plumply and harvest the first crop of Mange Tout, KohlRabi and Turnips. We’ve been exceptionally lucky with the weather, lots of sunlight and heat coupled with just enough rain to help all of the Spring crops burst into life and thrive.

After a string of very hot and dry days, by the middle of June we let out a collective sigh as the damp earth sent out its lush scent and fresh raindrops twinkled on the leaves of the dark purple kale, like stars in the night sky. The summer crops have been struggling a little with all the dryness but hopefully they’ll settle into the beds once more rain falls.

Having moved out of the hungry gap (the period traditionally between April-May where market gardens and allotments typically have few crops to harvest) and into more abundant times, it has been a total pleasure harvesting our organic produce at Old Holly Farm and pack them for the crop-sharers (people who have signed up to weekly veg boxes between April – November).

It’s so lovely to see the regular customers arrive promptly on Friday afternoon to collect their boxes brimming with hand-picked and hand-packed organic vegetables.

The leaning tower of perennial weeds has grown to an impressive height with the weeding of the new fields. Last week we managed to prepare enough of the area with mypex mesh to plant out our first field scale crops of pumpkin, squash and beans.

The garlic that was planted last Autumn into the turf pile grew really well but has started to show signs of rust so I’m looking forward to learning more about how we will deal with that and possibly prevent it in future.

We pulled a few carrots last week (teeny tiny but with mighty flavour) that I directly sowed in April.

Looking ahead to July and hopefully even warmer days, I’m excited to experience my first proper tomato harvest at the Polytunnel.

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