Harvesting towards the end of November

I confess that yesterday morning, having seen the weather forecast of day-long rain and typical November temperatures, I wasn’t really looking forward to harvesting. But here at The Oak Tree we harvest right through the year unless the ground actually freezes solid, so off to the farm I went regardless. Actually so long as we have a bit off forewarning before the ground freezes solid, even then we prepare boxes of heeled in leeks and (briefly!) root cellared roots, Brussels sprouts on the stalk etc, for members of our Community Supported Agriculture Scheme.

But shortly after arriving at the farm yesterday, along came farm member John to help with the harvest, in a cheery mood, as always. For the thousandth time I reflected on what an extraordinary thing it is to run a farm with the help of our members, and how incredibly committed and enthusiastic those members can be. The prospect of a rather grim and lonely day was transformed into a day of shared purpose and amusing banter! Another hardy member, Adrian, joined us later in the day, and moving the cows became a lighted hearted joint adventure, rather than damp chore. Another example of the joy of being a free range human…. something I talked about when in ponderous mood three years ago here on this very blog

I take great pride in producing little bags of salad leaves at this time of year as they seem like such an unlikely crop in November.


Our salad leaf current bags, included in this week’s otherwise wintery veg share box, consist of baby kale leaves (surprisingly tasty, and I don’t even particularly like kale!), multicoloured lettuce leaves, wild rocket, baby spinach leaves and baby beet leaves. They take absolutely ages to harvest. I mean hours. We don’t do them every week, and indeed a good solid frost along with darker days as we slide into December, may soon make them impossible rather than just plain laborious, but somehow is seems miraculous to produce fresh salad on an indescribably gloomy damp day.

Even with John and Adrian’s help, we were harevsting late, using the last of our night vision to gather the veg, before switching on our 12v solar charged lighting to pack the boxes.

Last night the sky was overcast, but Monday was a beautiful day, and while doing the evening check of the animals, I took this on my phone (sorry about the image quality – shame you can’t see the crescent moon properly).




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