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Soil Association, school visits, and our new polytunnel

Such glorious sunshine today. The much needed rain we had last week and this week with the warmth will be a winning combination for all our plants recently planted into the beds.

I am now head down in preparation mode for our annual Soil Association Inspection. For longstanding customers you know this is a pre-requisite for us having the accreditation as a Soil Association producer. The Inspector spends a day with us going through every aspect of our production. This includes financial, propagation programmes, rotavation of beds, organisation of veg bag scheme, complete yield list for everything grown and countless other pieces of record documentation we are obliged to maintain for the smallholding. It involves a lot of effort from all of the growing team to ensure we are abiding by all the rules as well as keeping our records up to date. Needless to say I will be pleased to get it over and done with as it never gets any easier! Notwithstanding all of this, we are very proud to call ourselves organic producers and for me personally, I feel we are helping to teach the next generation to grow food in a way that helps preserve the environment for future generations to come.

This week, our Education Officer Abi will have three different schools visiting so a busy week ahead. What is encouraging is that two of the schools have been before and the third is a newcomer. We had 6,380 school children visit us last year from 31 different schools. This year, we are working hard to increase this number to further educate children on the importance of sustainability.

We shortly hope to get a date in the diary for putting up our new polytunnel and will be sourcing the mulch to create the new beds inside ‘no dig’ style. We will also have to collect a quantity of large sheets of cardboard to put on the ground for the mulch to go on top. Having erected the original polytunnel 11 years ago, it will be interesting to see how we get on with this second one.

Tickets are selling well for our Taste! event, so do book online if you want to come along to this great foodie event. There will be lots of tasters of both drink and food, and a chance to see the charismatic food writer and chef Rosemary Moon.