Do farmers take holidays?
At the end of May and beginning of June both Jack and myself were away on holiday. This is time that we had both booked off some time ago and it was difficult to avoid being away together. One of the advantages of not farming on your own is you can alternate being away. But in this case neither of us would be on the farm for about a week and most importantly on harvest day. This meant we had to order all our veg in from local suppliers. We always aim to order veg which is grown in the UK and provide a good deal for our members. Local neighbours came in to irrigate which is one of the key challenges of not living on site or being away in hot weather. They did a brilliant job. This was especially important for the tunnels. We had quite a few days of rain which meant the field crops weren’t so vulnerable to drying out.
I’ve been persuaded that the most important resource that a farm has is not the soil or the weather or a tractor. It’s the farmer themself. It’s the farmer who adds value to the crop from seed to harvest. It’s the farmer who innovates, who works with the community, who does the marketing and finds new customers. So its important that farmers look after themselves because farming is a physically and mentally challenging job. I remember the feeling last year when I was setting up a market garden near Peterborough, of constant decision fatigue. Having to make continual decisions about things I didn’t know much about, not knowing if I was making the right decision and not being able to get into the flow of work because something always needed to be decided. That takes its toll on a brain!
Having come back from our short breaks we found the farm in great form although the weeds had made scary progress. Weeds have a big impact on productivity because they impede growth of the crops, they take valuable nutrients and water from the crops, they make it harder to harvest and they use valuable energy and time to deal with. But we’re getting back on top of things and thinking about how to reduce the amount of time we spend weeding in the future.
Thanks for supporting us. We are still in need of more members so if you know anyone that would like a weekly supply of fresh, organic produce with zero packaging please tell them about us. You are our best marketing tool and we love you for it. Thanks