Well, summer has gone. Not that it has been anything to write about other than to say it's been the worst summer in 80 years, and 3rd worst since records started! Even accounting that that, it's been all go on the farm. We've been running a bit short-staffed of late, which has meant little chance of an update on the farm. Sadly, we still don't have our new phone line, although we have our number. Every week I'm assured this week will be the week we have a new pole installed, but breaths will not be held! However, progress is being made, and I'm confident of a resolution very shortly.
Last month, we had a group of postgrad students over from the Scottish Rural College at Craibstone along with Dr Robin L Walker who specialises in crop and soil systems research. Matthew took the group of students around, explaining our crop production systems and the veg box scheme. Robin said they left with a lot to think about, and even Matthew said he learned a thing or two as well! A very successful visit for all concerned!
As the year is coming to a close Matthew has been out cutting the humus builder for the final time this year. This will compost down into the soil to provide us with soil enriching nutrients which enables us to grow our lovely veggies!
As winter now approaches we are moving towards our rooty veggies, and the salad items have been winding down. The mini-cucumbers, which have been outstanding, have sadly come to an end, as have the courgettes. We will continue to provide courgettes not from the farm, but this will lessen as the price starts to creep every higher and they go out of season. We aim to keep the price down as much as possible for you all, which means being as seasonal as possible. However, we are all pleased with the variety of delicious and colourful veggies over the summer, even allowing for the horrendously wet weather!
And so, autumn brings us fresh delights! Next week we should have quinces! If you would like to request any in your fruit box, or would like a fruit box to try them out then please pop an email, or phone (if you don't get an answer then leave a message as I always get them).
This will bring an end to the many technical problems we've been experiencing with the phone and internet service. We will also have a new local telephone number, which is now on our website, and will be live on our Facebook page shortly. It will also be added to our vans, and our literature as well.
It is going to be a joyous occasion!
We took a trip into the fields to check out the progress of the seeds we planted several months ago, and they are coming on fantastically! We planted a mixture with strong tap roots, which stabilise plant matter around them, and hugely improve the soil structure and organic matter levels. Over time these will be turned into humus compost.
Here we have planted red clover, chicory and cocksfoot, although there are still remnants of ryegrass here, which, alongside clover, is used in building the fertility of the soil.
Humus compost is used to return formerly rich, fertile soils to their original state after they have been degraded and many of their nutrients and beneficial properties have been removed.
Humus compost is made up of organic matter (decomposed plant material), which improves soil structure by clumping soil particles thus preventing water runoffs and the drying out of clay soils.
It helps prevent erosion of soil microbes such as fungi and bacteria, and earthworms, which recycle the nutrients for plant use – this is called humification.
Humus compost is a much higher quality than other composts because, rather than just breaking organic matter down and spreading it onto the soil, we are breaking the organic matter down and then building it back up.
Unlike manure, humus compost activates microbes and earthworms without harming plants.
Humus composting is a much more holisitic approach to cultivation, and not simply about the here and the now.
It helps to create a healthy, good quality tillable land, which creates an eco-system which helps microbes and earthworms thrive, without destroying plant matter surrounding it.
So, not only are we looking after ourselves with what we put into our bellies, but we're also looking after the earth, and the small creatures within it!
Bridgefoot Organic Co-op
You can contact us Mon-Thur with any queries or to arrange a delivery:
01651 869400 01651 869400
Or use our contact form.
Office: Mon-Thurs: 9am - 4pm
Fri: Office closed, deliveries only
Office closed: Friday 22nd December 2017 until Monday 8th January 2018.
Final delivery of 2017: Friday 22nd December.