May/June 2020 News

We’ve got used to hot, dry spells in May, but this May has been particularly so. According to the Met Office the UK has recorded its sunniest month ever with 266 hours of sunshine in May, more than any other month since records began and England has experienced its driest May ever. Our irrigation capabilities are basic so getting plants established and seeds germinated has been a challenge, but once done things are growing well. Our potatoes would really benefit from a good soaking though, so fingers crossed for some of the rain that is forecast for the first week of June.

We have started transplanting squash as well as direct seeding 18 beds of crown prince – there’s always a week of worry after this job, doing what we can to stop the very clever rooks working their way along the rows and pulling up the seeds when just germinating!! Doesn’t look like they found too many this year.

Turtle Doves-  we will continue with supplementary feeding during June and were very happy to see a pair of turtle doves on the farm at the end of June.

Broad beans will be in the veggie boxes and available at our stall at Wye and Stoke Newington farmer's Markets for most of June. Smaller pods are delicious roast whole, just top and tail them, trying to take away the stringy edge bit at the same time, rub all over with olive oil and roast in a fairly hot oven for 20-30 mins, turning halfway through. I just added salt and they were delicious!  I’ve also added pods to a dhal, cut into bitesize pieces. As they get bigger, you’ll probably only want to eat the podded beans - they can be steamed and eaten as they are or added to other dishes. Some recipes suggest you peel the cooked beans, you can do this but it’s a bit of a faff – I don’t usually bother. And cooked beans make a good hummus (if I have fresh lemon, I add a slice of lemon to the hummus giving a good hit of flavour from the rind as well as the juice).