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October heatwave, hedgerow management and olive harvest

It looks like we are getting somewhat of a little heat wave for this time of year, over the next few days which can only be good for the last plants that have been put into the ground. We are now at the very end of our main planting for the year. We have put in over wintering Japanese onions, winter lettuces, land cress, lambs lettuce, oriental salad leaves and leeks to name but a few. The broad beans, garlic and winter sweet peas will finish off the 2017 vegetable sowing and then it will be the time for reviewing all the crops we have grown this year before ordering new seeds for 2018. This is always an exciting job, planning what we might grow that is new and perhaps using different methods. We are always up for a new challenge – nothing ever stands still at Tuppenny Barn.

On Thursday and Friday, Sarah Hughes led a small band of volunteers doing our hedgerow management on the Eastern side of our perimeter. We are extremely lucky to have her help and assistance as she has written us a long term hedgerow management plan to ensure that we look after our hedges properly. We have a real mixture, some extremely old and others more recently planted. Back in 2005 when I started the project, I planted 600 native species around three sides of the perimeter as my very first planting job. Despite it being below freezing that February, I recall having a great sense of achievement after finishing the planting. Knowing that in our district area sadly many hedgerows are being removed needlessly, which is certainly affecting the birds not having a resting place on their flight paths, we should all try and look after the hedgerows that we have.

I am off later this morning on my olive picking trip in Abruzzio. I am looking forward very much to being part of the team that will bring the olive harvest in, something I know nothing about, but extremely keen to learn. It will make a nice change to crop for someone else.