Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Courses for 2009, in association with The Soil Association

We have agreed the potential dates for three courses held here this year. We are running the following:
Organic vegetable growing covering all stages from soil, planning and seed to harvesting.
dates 12 July and 16 August
Bee keeping, including general bee keeping practices and an introduction to queen rearing.
5 July and 9 August
Smallholding this is an introduction to those thinking about or starting a smallholding we will cover hens, sheep, vegetables, bees also sales and marketing of your produce.
2 August and 30 August.
The costs are £50 per person or £37.50 if you are a member of the Soil Association. An organic lunch will be provided included in the cost.
Click on the title for this piece for a link to the relevant Soil Association page.

Progress with vegetables

The salad crops grown in frames have progressed well after this spell of fine weather, we use mesh on all the frames as polythene over heats and blows about in the wind. The mesh reduces water loss due to wind, keeps out the insects while still allowing light and rain to reach the plants.
We are now planting our second batch of beetroot, this will see us through to autumn and into early winter as long as we can keep the Short Tailed Voles off.

We usually try to plant our fine beans through some form of weed control mulch, this year we are trying half meter wide strips with the beans planted in the gaps. The pipes over the top are for irrigation.
This is what remains of the leek seedlings planted in the frame after the chickens got in twice. We have had to plant 2,0000 in modules to try and make up the numbers for this years crop. I think we will be down by about 2k plants on last year, so will have to sow other crops to replace the income.