Spring visitors

Spring visitors

May 08, 2024Calixta Killander

The farm team were joined by a group of chefs and front-of-house staff from restaurants we supply earlier this week, who got to see how the tunnels and fields are looking at the start of the season - and the end of a challenging winter/ early spring. Chef visits are great for our teams to meet each other, and we think our growers get as much out of chatting to the chefs as they do us...

The group were put to work planting aubergines, while we also got our onions in the ground last week. They've been happily watered by the torrential rain, and all 200,000 of them are watered and looking delightful in the field as we type.

Kales, cabbages and the first sweetcorn plantings are all happening this week, while the sunflowers have been drilled, as well as salads, radishes, Japanese turnips... so many incoming delights getting established on these longer, warmer days.

As for what's ready right now, we're now expecting the hungry gap to stretch right through May, and seeing reports of far-reaching veg shortages. It's been a particularly tough year for asparagus, which is now roughly three weeks delayed on previous years and will have a shorter season as a result. Rhubarb is nearly finished, and the first artichokes are coming but we won't have tonnes – we're planning in future to have more of these, but this year we're just getting the crop started. The wet garlic is looking absolutely insane - both the regular variety and our giant elephant variety. Keep an eye out for it in the shop!

In the tunnels the tomatoes are flowering – last week we enlisted the help of several hundred bumblebees, placing hives at strategic points in tunnels with flowering plants - to help boost pollination in these indoor environments and ensure the plants yield as much as possible this summer. The bees are Bombus terrestris audaxa UK native commonly known as Buff-tailed Bumblebee – and now the first green tomatoes are swelling by the day.

Our Farm Shop is now open seven days a week, so do stop by if you're in the area, while the Plant emporium is heaving with ready-to-go plants hand reared by Flourish growers, from edible flowers to fruit and veg for your growing space.

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