We are protecting carrots with straw this year to protect them from the frost over the winter months. They should stay nice and warm under all the straw and we aim to finish harvesting early 2018.
After another busy season of hand weeding, irrigating and a lot of crop management, we turn our attention to the carrot harvest of 2017. This keeps the team very busy.
It’s always so rewarding to see the crop being lifted and looking so good after all our efforts of the season.
Unlike onions and potatoes, which are harvested in one go, our carrots are harvested from September through to January/February.
Sown in the autumn 2016, beneficial insect beds were introduced into the fields for our 2017 season. These corridors contain nectar-rich flowers which provide the perfect habitat for beneficial insects to thrive in.
These insects eat the aphids which could devastate our crops. We also released further beneficial insects in both the corridors and flowering headlands. Not only are they important in keeping the aphids at bay, they look wonderful in the fields.
A new root crop we are growing this year is the potato. We have planted approximately 30 acres of organic potatoes in April. The crop is mechanically weeded at various intervals to keep it as weed free as possible.
We plan to harvest the whole crop in September.
This year we planted some trial brassica crops. Included in these were some beautiful ornamental cabbages and kale. Not only did they look a picture in the fields, they tasted great too!
Keeping on top of our irrigation programme is a real challenge during the dryer, warmer months. The application of controlled amounts of water to the crops, at needed intervals is essential for healthy crop growth. This is a period when we really do welcome rainfall to give us a helping hand!
Burning the carrot beds is essential to keep the weed burden at bay before we drill and just after. We have to burn when the weather is just right so sometimes this does mean burning through the night. It really does keep us busy around the clock!
After all the land preparation has been carried out, we get ready to drill our Organic onions in April. We grow our onions from seed and they will be ready to harvest in September.
A lot of care is taken in looking after the onions once drilled, keeping them irrigated and weed free is quite a task!
At this time of year we are very busy ensuring our crops are kept weed free. Quite an undertaking! Being a grower of Organic Vegetables, we have to remove the weeds manually.
Imagine having to weed an entire field/fields by hand! That’s exactly what we do.
The hand weeder’s lie on a flat bed pulled along by a tractor, it’s not quite as back breaking as you’d imagine!
After the Brassica planting process, nets cover the crop. This is to ensure that any pests that may want to attack the crop stay out! Water and sunshine still reach the crop under the nets and they receive good airflow.