March update: approaching a season of change!

Pete Thompson21 April 2021

Change is quite often a very good thing, and on the farm, the change in seasons make for an exciting time. A lot of change is also happening for the community, with COVID-19 restrictions starting to ease, and a bit of normality being regained. Spring is always seen as the season of change, with lots of new things bursting with life; this year it feels even more apt.

One thing we can be sure of with the changing British weather is that it will be reliably unreliable. This late Spring has been gloriously interrupted by lovely sunny, warm and dry weather. Couple this with a brief blizzard and ice having to be knocked off the irrigators and you have unreliability at its finest! A year ago, we had already been picking the outdoor rhubarb for weeks, whereas this year it is only just ready. That said the cold weather means the stalks are a beautiful deep, dark red.

crop irrigator in an icy field

Chicken lockdown was also lifted at the end of March so our girls are back in the orchards and they were very excited to be let out. They have done a good job clearing the weeds in the polytunnels though and fertilising the ground for us. Our tomato, chilli and aubergine plants are all up and will be planted out in the tunnels, while we are sowing Genovese and Opal Basil, Flat Leaf Parsley, Courgettes, Squash, beans and Chickpeas.

chickens in a field of crops

On the farm this time of year marks the end of tree and hedge planting which has kept us busy, watering and maintaining these will keep us busy as well in coming months, especially if the lack of rain continues. In a decade or so parts of the farm will look a bit different! We are poised to plant our second larger Olive grove, and here and elsewhere may yet see a return of livestock to these fields for the first time in over 50 years. This is part of our efforts to move to a more regenerative way of farming. For the sake of the soil, we need fauna as well as flora, so we’ll keep you in the loop.

We are looking forward to some more exciting changes being made at Holt Farm, and as always, we will keep you updated as and when these things happen.

Eat well!

Pete