Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Strawberry Fayre Saturday 20th June

We have a really exciting Strawberry Fayre lined up for you this year. We have some of the popular attractions again this year with pony rides, bouncy castle and face painting. Also in addition we have some alpacas and a mini zoo where you can see spiders and snakes and maybe hold an owl. The owls will also be part of a demonstration in the ring.

The ring is an addition for this year with lots going on including the boys brigade band and dog show. The dogs shows are open for anyone (with a dog) to enter. Entry costs £2 per person and there is even a rosette for the winner.

We have over 40 stalls this year a mixture of food and crafts some that have been before and several new traders as well.

We also have a bar serving several local beers – like a mini beer festival! Tractor and trailer rides and of course we have Pick Your Own Strawberries!

As always the Strawberry fayre is a charity event all the proceeds of the day are going to St Elizabeth Hopsice, our charity of the year. Our sponsers for the event help to make sure that more money goes to charity than would otherwise. 

What's happening on the farm in June?

We've got some new piggies! Here's a picture of our new arrivals. 

The growing season has definitely arrived! We have been flat-out on the farm trying to keep up with all the jobs that need doing.

The Asparagus is in full swing right now and keeps us busy picking this fast growing crop every day whatever the weather, nice on a sunny day but we have got soaked as well! the Rhubarb is growing fast now as well and it won’t be long until we pick our first big load for the ice cream.

All the fruit has now been strawed. This is a bit of an old fashioned exercise these days with many farmers preferring to use herbicides right through the summer, but we prefer to use straw and reduce the amount of herbicides that we have to apply; and it looks nice. We are also reducing pesticide usage in the raspberries this year by using insect traps, this will tell us if there is a population build up of insects that need controlling instead of routinely spraying for something that may not be there.

You may have noticed that the gooseberries have had nets hung over them this year. this is to reduce the amount of crop stolen by pigeons! A pigeon can eat twice its own body-weight in food every day and last year we had a nice residency of about 50 pigeons on the gooseberries each day and we couldn’t seem to scare them away. This year the gooseberries are safe: we hope.

We also have covers on the sweetcorn, sprouts and broccoli down the drive. The sweetcorn has a fleece covering it, this is to protect the young plants should we have a late frost. The brassicas have a fine net which is to keep pigeons away and will help fight of white fly later on when the plants are bigger.

Elsewhere on the farm we have planted our potatoes, pumpkins and squashes. Also in any bare areas we have put in green manures (mostly mustard) to help keep nutrients in the soil and maintain the soil structure.