The wait is over! The ground is drying and we have begun our primary cultivation. The office door has shrunk back to its normal size so that it opens with ease and the large puddle on the drive, which I have circumnavigated for months on the way to the yard, has dried up.
Suddenly there is a lot to do and it all seems urgent. As is always the way, the morning brings calm from the anxieties of the night and I’ve now made a list! Mark was out first thing, with the mower, mulching crop and weed debris down to the ground. This will be followed by a sequence of tasks; spreading compost, liming, sub-soiling, ploughing or cultivating, harrowing and bed forming to prepare for the first plants and seeds. In the polytunnels where ground is protected, preparations are more advanced and so I will drill our first carrot seed tomorrow. In a harmonious completion of the annual cycle we will also lift our last carrots tomorrow so that we can store them before they start to grow again. Carrots are biennial and flower in their second year.
A couple of weeks ago we finished our much loved Milva potatoes and are now using Tolluca, one of our main crop varieties. Tolluca is not well known, but I am enjoying the change. I hope you like it too.
These newsletters are now available on our website. I am creating an archive of the hundreds I have written over the years. For me they make surprisingly interesting and at times emotional reading. I find it difficult to read some, like those from 2006 when wireworm laid waste to so many of our crops.