As a small business which has quite literally started from scratch, our whole family is involved in the production of the vegetables. This includes selection of varieties and ordering of seeds which normally takes place around Christmas time, through to raising of seeds and planting out and finally the harvesting.
Most of our seeds are raised in one small poly tunnel and planting starts in earnest in February of each year with hispi cabbage, early leeks and tomatoes. As these grow and are subsequently transplanted, more room is required for peppers, courgettes, more cabbages, brassicas and squash.
When the young plants are transplanted outside they are generally covered with a fleece. Most of this is done by machine with the planter adapted to plant brassicas, onion sets and broad beans.
Our main crops of leeks, carrots and swedes are all direct drilled in beds using a precision drill pulled by the tractor; other seeds such as parsnips, French beans, peas, beetroot and spinach are drilled using a small hand drill which, although rather labour intensive, enables us to plant smaller amounts accurately and therefore minimise wastage.
Due to our organic status all weeding is done either by hand or mechanically. We use compost teas and approved liquid fertilizers to aid the growth of our produce and are very dependent on predator insects to control pests.