Freezing cold wind, rain, hail, sleet, snow……it must be British Summer Time! We had at least a week of lovely spring weather until today, so it seems churlish to complain. The ground was ideal for working on last week, so I got lots of cultivating done and have started sowing and planting outside. So far I have sown beetroot, planted out more lettuces, cabbages and I made a start on the first early potatoes; I had intended to get the rest of them in today, but hail stopped play. With the clocks changing we do at least have the lovely light evenings to look forward to.

So how has the first week of ‘lockdown’ been for you? Weird isn’t it? Well we have all got to get used to it because I think that it will be a long time before we will return to normal, or anything like it. The one thing that I need to educate myself to do is to stop constantly looking at my phone to find out what the latest status is; it is becoming an unhealthy habit, and it seriously increases one’s anxiety levels whilst achieving very little. All that we can do is to be sensible and follow the guidance that we have been given in terms of minimising social interaction, but it’s so alien to us that it is taking us (some more than others) time to adjust to this new way of behaving.

Something is going to have to change on the work front too, because I am just not set up to deal with the level of business I have experienced in the past few weeks. I am not yet sure what I will do, but things cannot continue as they are, it is just not sustainable and I fear that it will impact on my wellbeing the longer it goes on; this was never meant to be stressful. I may have to consider limiting the number of orders that I can accept, or prioritising the most vulnerable of my customers through this crisis period; I don’t want to be chasing the dollar whilst neglecting the very people that have supported me over such a long period. I’m thinking out loud, I don’t yet know how this will pan out, all I ask at this time is that you are considerate when placing your order, only buy what you need, there is only so much veg that you can consume in a week. Thank you

As we get deeper into the ‘hungry gap’ there will be very little home or UK grown fresh organic produce, and the imported stuff is in very high demand and is becoming really expensive. It will be well into May before an appreciable amount of new season veg is ready to harvest, so until then there is likely to be a very limited range of vegetables available. However, this week that is not the case as the greenhouse and polytunnel continue to offer up a good selection of goodies; chard, perpetual spinach, Pak Choi, radishes, spring greens, whist outside the last few cauliflowers will be cut and the final batch of small leeks will be lifted. In addition there will be mushrooms, beetroot, parsnips, carrots (the UK season has just about finished now), swede, red cabbage, onions, potatoes, garlic and ginger. There will be kiwi fruit and some large lemons.

I would like to remind you that I will not be attending the farmers’ market at Wyken until I feel that it is safe to, so I can’t accept orders for collection there. I will continue to leave your order on your doorstep, or wherever you have instructed me to put it, thereby observing the physical distancing that is necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

Panic buying is not restricted to loo roll, pasta, baked beans or even organic vegetables, no, it also extends to seeds! The supplier of all of my organic veg seeds has had to shut down its website because of a massive surge in business from the public. It’s a laudable ambition to grow one’s own, but it’s a pain in the backside that commercial growers like me are unable to get what they need to run their businesses. Unusual times indeed.

Take care of yourself and others

Phil

 

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