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Rambling #159

Happy Lammas North Aston customers! It’s Rachel here, one of the growing team at North Aston. For those that don’t know me, I’m in my third season here and this is my first attempt at writing an update for you so bear with me! As we enter the later part of the summer there’s no sign of the unsettled weather letting up, a stark contrast to last year but at least we don’t have to spend so much time hauling irrigation pipes around. It can sometimes feel like summer hasn't got started yet this year but all our field crops seem to be enjoying the generous watering. Things on the farm have calmed down slightly as all the summer crops are in the ground and have generally had their first weeding. Where there is tractor weeding and hoeing to be done, the ground is too wet so we just have to be patient and wait for our moment. 

One thing the rain has helped is our undersowing of clover mixes in both the field scale and market garden sites. By growing clover between the rows of veggies we are able to fix nitrogen and keep the soil covered at the same time, which helps to prevent erosion and keep moisture locked in. In organic farming however there are always some struggles. We have been wrestling with the ever present ‘red spider mite’ which has given a serious beating to our round french beans and is showing early signs of presence among the aubergines. Luckily, we’ve already had a good harvest from our french beans and have a newly planted batch of colourful dwarf beans on the way so we are not fretting too much.

I’m sure many of you will have been enjoying the new potatoes nearly as much as I enjoy lifting them on the tractor. Those of you on the farm walk last Saturday are witness to this! Many thanks to everyone who came along. I really enjoyed meeting you all and came away with a real sense of mutual respect and appreciation. We had a walk down to and around our field scale site in the Cherwell Valley and finished back at the market garden with some tea and cake back at the market garden. For those unable to make it, I hope to see you in coming years and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Until then, take care. Rachel.


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