Can you smell something?
That's right. Spring is in the air. Winter hasn't been as harsh as last year though there is still time for some low temperatures. But the soil is definitely warming up, plant growth is speeding up and the rabbits and birds are definitely up to something in the hedgerows.
My name is Joel and I've joined Norwich Farmshare as a second grower along with Jack the farm manager. Norwich Farmshare is embarking on a new era. We've got a new board of six highly committed local people, we've got a new farm site which is the result of much hard work by many dedicated people and the polytunnels are producing lots of absolutely delicious kale, chard, spinach and salad leaves. I'm really excited to join this great team and continue the process of regenerating this piece of land and producing super fresh, chemical free vegetables for the people of Norwich.
Last year I was setting up a 1/4 acre market garden near Peterborough but I've had to give that project up and return to Norwich. I'm really glad to be back in this awesome city and getting stuck into a new farm. I'm passionate about growing food and flowers and about farming in a way that nourishes biology of the landscape and looks after the soil. I want to show that farming is a noble job and that it is possible to make a living from a small area of land. I love the connection that farming provides with nature and with other people and I've seen time and time again the huge benefits that growing food can have on people's physical and mental health - even before they eat the finished product!
This week we've been sowing seeds in module trays in the propagation tunnel so that we can get crops growing under cover while its still too cold to plant them outside. Its also much easier to monitor germination and get ahead of the weeds when we sow in trays. We've been preparing beds for direct sowing and planting transplants into. We've planned an area with 6 blocks. Each block will contain 9 beds of 25 metres by 75cm. These beds will contain crops like cabbages, kale, carrots, beetroot and beans. We also have an additional plot for squashes and one for salads. Preparing beds is hard work and volunteers have been making this job much easier. Thanks to all the volunteers that have been showing up on Thursdays and Saturdays. Once the beds are made they shouldn't need too much maintenance apart from weeding and adding compost in the winter.
I'm looking forward to sharing more news from the farm over the coming months. Come and visit the farm and say hello and if you know anyone who might like to receive a weekly supply of high quality veg please put them in touch with us. We've got about 60 members at the moment and we'd like to double our membership by June. We really appreciate your support.