A personal account by Jo, A FarmStart trainee

“The wonders of turning away from the sun.” A surprisingly nonchalant but poignant phrase our expert teacher James said in passing as I ogled at the plumped up squash fruits and the wilted remnants of foliage they were attached to.

I think the phrase captures the feeling of the changing of the seasons perfectly as we watch the production at The Plot gradually start to slow and move into overwintering our energy as well as the crops.

Nasturtium flowers that were in abundance just a few weeks ago have notably slowed down on their regeneration rate as the weeks creep on. Despite most of our crops slowing down or moving into winter dormancy, it has been a joy to finally witness the broccoli plants (that boasted the most magnificent foliage for months but disappointingly no sprouting broccoli heads) finally start producing the most crunchy and delicious little heads that we’ll be picking until the FarmStart programme draws to a close in December and we pass the magical purple sprouting batons to the next cohort in early 2023.

With October comes the final few weeks of our seasonal Crop-Shares, I still can’t help but beam across the field, towards the cars that promptly pull up at 4pm on the dot every week to collect their locally grown goodness.

It’s been a privilege to be a small part of helping to feed local families and feels like a great achievement of sustaining that for almost 30 weeks.

As we begin to reflect on how the season has gone, what worked and what we might do better next time, my biggest take away at this time is still that nature is miraculous, given the right conditions plants will thrive and the ecosystem has a brilliant way of looking after itself.

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