Very first signs of the Spring!

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny Winter’s day! After the horrible combination of wind, rain and cold the previous Wednesday it was incredibly welcome, and there were some magical signs of the Spring too! Under our cloches in a polytunnels we had optimistically, but not hopefully, sown salad leaf seeds direct into the soil under cloches in the polytunnel in a attempt to lift the temperature just enough to let them germinate….

Cloches in a polytunnel with remote temperature sensors

Cloches in a polytunnel with remote temperature sensors

…and we had been keeping an eye on the temperature increase that the cloches gave compare to the “outside” temperature in the rest of the polytunnel on Richard’s Oak Tree Labs site.

Tempgraph

The blue line is the soil temp under the cloches, the green one the “outside” polytunnel soil temp. That small difference is important!

and yesterday, after a long wait,  the seedlings emerged!

mustard seedlings

Tiny red mustard salad seedlings

Tiny tat soi seedlings

Tiny tat soi seedlings

These are the first seedlings to germinate at the farm in 2015, and they will be an important, and very welcome, crop during the Hungry Gap of April/May.

But, we don’t take any chances at The Oak Tree, so CSA member Mandy was busy pricking out salad leaf seedling that Joanne raised with extra heat and light at her home (remember, we don’t have mains power or a proper building yet at the farm, though we are working on it!!)

Mandy pricking out the all important Hungry Gap seedlings into modules in the polytunnel.

Mandy pricking out the all important Hungry Gap seedlings into modules in the polytunnel.

All this is a lot of hard work, but it is important to keep our selection of vegetables are varied as possible throughout the year, because we are very unusual in the UK in only putting vegetables that we grow ourselves into our veg share boxes, and keeping those boxes going all years round! It is a challenge, but one we are getting better at year by year 🙂

 

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