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Virtual Tour of the Farm

14/12/2012 0 Comment(s) General News,

What is it about Christmas and being busy. I mean in the films it always looks like everybody is relaxing and taking it easy. Is that what you are doing right now? Sitting there wondering how you are going to spend all this lovely valuable free time? It's not like that really though is it, it is hectic.  Personally I dont know whether I am coming or going. With the family and the farm and the dogs and the ducks and cats and .....

I think everybody who works here is a little relieved that we are shutting down for 8 days, they finally get to have a break. They have all worked so hard. You would not believe how much work (and dedication) and how many people goes into getting the veg from the farm onto your doorstep.

Declan and Enda plant, mind and harvest the veg. Carlos and Tom wash the veg, Tom and Ramona pack the veg. Celine and the newly joined Chris make sure the right veg go to the right people, and finally Shay gets the veg from the farm to your door. Thats a lot of people! And me; well I walk around take photos and then sit here and write about it; and do a few other little bits and pieces too!

Then there is getting your head around planning and organising from a business point of view. So today I decided enough is enough. I took my little phone and went for a walk around the farm with nothing in particular to do for an hour other than look at the ground and take pictures.

No I had not gone mad it was actually the most relaxing hour of my week so far; and as an added bonus the sun was shining and the air was dry cold and crisp. It was beautiful.

So take a look here, there is about 20 photos of the farm from the tunnels to the farthest field taken today Thursday the 13th December  You will be surprised I think my what you see for the depths of winter.......

2012-12-13 11.33.43

Here we have ovewintering frost hardy onions that will be ready for harvest in April or May.

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We have planted about 10,000 of these little guys all by hand

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The spinach we have been harvesting up to 3 weeks is already showing signs of regeneration we will feed
this in the new year and start harvesting at the end of Feburary

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One thing you will notice with all these pictures is the weeds. This is natural and generally as long as they are not competing directly with the plants or going to seed they are actually beneficial. Holding onto nutrients during the winter months and preventing the fertility from being washed away. It is also one of the reasons organic prouce is more expensive, we have to keep the weeds down.

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We have loads of lovely leeks. We misjudged demand a little as all the leeks that we were supposed to be harvesting now are gone, these leeks were for Feb-May, thats why they are still a little small. However we will continue to harvest some. When we dont have our own we buy from another organic farm not to far away.

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This was some Red russian kale that grew up under the arms of a big sprouting broccoli plant, it was a self seeder from last year, amazing really. Our own kale has recently been savaged by the pigeons and we have just covered it to keep them away.

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Kale has made a huge leap over the last couple of years in terms of its popularity. It really is an amazing vegetable full to the brim with antioxidants and nutrients. I juice some every monring. It is also more importantly a crop than can be grown all year round in Ireland and likes our climate, more of these crops will need to be grown in the future to ensure we actually have enough food to eat.

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I had a quick shoot through the tunnels and they are full of lovely new crops bursting with life, again the pictures here are more reminiscient of spring that December! Here we have flat leaf parsley that is doing very well and will be ready for harvest end of Feburary

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Plants and vegetables are really beautiful. Have you ever noticed whenever a big supermarket wants to convey goodness and vitality they use vegetables, not canned beans or meat! interesting.

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I wonder if you can guess what is going on here? Well very simply we have put the plants to bed and tucked them in nice and snug. This is important for growth it keeps the plants going gives them that little bit extra heat and protects them from hard frost.

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Some new beautiful fresh lettuce, this will be ready for harvest April time we only wish we had more we have about 2000 heads, but at that time of the year when everyone wants new greens it is just not enough

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They will live under the fleece until probably end of January, these are particular lettuce that like the low light levels of winter

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Some freshly planted wild rocket not quite ready for harvest yet

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You can just see some lettuce to nicely tucked in beside it

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Some lovely fresh salad ready at end of February maybe sooner

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This is a red variety, they are all from the same family of japanese salad varieties and they thrive in the cold and shorter days.

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2012-12-13 12.30.04

This is a red variety, they are all from the same family of japanese salad varieties and they thrive in the cold and shorter days.
Spring cabbage we have planted this inside and outside, always great to have the first early cabbage

This is a red variety, they are all from the same family of japanese salad varieties and they thrive in the cold and shorter days.
This is a red variety, they are all from the same family of japanese salad varieties and they thrive in the cold and shorter days.

2012-12-13 12.30.56

This is a red variety, they are all from the same family of japanese salad varieties and they thrive in the cold and shorter days.
The low light levels of winter allow you to see things and capture them on camera that wouldnt normally be possible. Taking photos also makes you appreciate the beauty in nature. It makes you stop and pay a bit more attention to what is all aroudn you.

2012-12-13 12.31.25

I think this is my favourite winter salad variety, it is called winter purslane or "miners lettuce". The delicate flavour of the leaves is amazing looking forward to this in the new year, after the chocolate mountain has subsided!

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