Monday, 4 November 2013

New polytunnel already producing

The story of the new polytunnel is a complex one. We had the idea last year, with a view to increasing the amount of protected crops like tomatoes and cucumbers we could produce in the summer. So we got planning permission, saved money and ordered the tunnel.

As 2013 was a bit of a mad year (long story), when it came to get the tunnel up in March we just didn't have the time. OK, maybe April? May even? Nope! It took until July for any action to happen and wasn't until September that the plastic was finally put on! All the best laid plans...

Anyway, the construction went well, the plastic-ing was really easy (compared to others before) and the result is a really good size, strong tunnel in a good position to be sheltered from winter winds (so far so good - fingers still crossed).

The winter crops in there, calabrese, cabbage, carrots, salad, chard and fennel look really good and have put on amazing growth since mid to late Sept. At this time of year the difference between outside and protected crops is remarkable.

Our thanks to (in chronological order) Michael, Phil, Jo, Bill, Helen, Rob and Adam for helping out in the process.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

We're on TV!

Last September TV presenters Dick and James Stawbridge came around the
farm to film for their programme Hungry Sailors, this episode on St

10 months later and the programme's just gone out on ITV. You can watch
it until Aug 25th here:

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Growers going against the grain

After a miserable winter most people have been delighted with the recent
warm weather, but down on our land it's been very dry and crops have
suffered as a we've been doing rain dances most days! The
problem when light soils dry out is that they take a long time to re-wet
again, so really it needs sustained steady rain to get the soil wet
again. That could be a while...

Anyway, here are a few photos from on and around the farm recently.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Spring has, at last, sprung

This week has brought a different feeling in the air. After many days of "ah, here's spring!" followed the next day by "oh, no it's not...", finally it feels like it really is.

Wild plants have been bursting forth and growing madly at a rate of knots. The island looks beautiful at the moment, so many flowers and the light on sunny days is quite stunning.

This photos of blossom in the orchard really sums it all up. At last we can look forward to new season crops, albeit very very much later than planned for.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

"The first yurt on Scilly"

That was the local news headline when we got planning permission! It's been a little while since the idea sprang to mind but here we are now, we have a yurt up on the farm.

It's in a beautiful secluded field very close to the beach, but sheltered from the wind by high hedges. From the back of the field you get a great view to the South West, looking at Tresco, Samson, St Mary's, St Agnes and the Western Rocks.

We will be letting this out for holidays, probably from early to mid June onwards. We want to get all the systems in place first and working so that we know everything works properly!

In the next couple of weeks we'll be getting this on our (new) website, but in the meantime if you want to prospectively enquire then drop me an email on

Friday, 22 March 2013

Cold spring, slow crops, new glasshouse

This spring has been one of the coldest I've known in 10 years of growing. Following the excessively wet winter. Valentines Day brought very welcome dry weather, but after this the temperatures were lower than through Dec and Jan. Crops haven't been growing at all and even plants in the glasshouse have been growing slowly.

March brought unsettled conditions and recently there has been a lot of rain (again). It's been really challenging to get everything going to schedule and the fact is crops will be later than planned.

On the positive side, we've been busy building a new glasshouse and tool shed. It's not quite finished but nearly there. It'll be a great addition to the farm and make life a lot easier.

It's been a lovely day today (after morning rain stopped) - here's Lawrence's beach.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Rotavating for early crops

It's turned a bit colder now but the forecast indicates it won't last on Scilly for too long. Now is the time to prepare for early spuds and carrots, turning in seaweed, green manures and weeds, ready for the new season's crops.

The growing year of 2013 has started!