Thursday 7 April 2011

News from Norwich FarmShare

Spring has finally arrived in all its glory and we're getting the first plants in the ground at Postwick. It's taking us a bit longer than we expected as our poor tractor is temporarily not as well as we'd like and has taken to its bed. That means sowing every single seed by hand- and when you're looking to feed a hundred families for a year that's a whole lot of planting. But, as I discovered last Saturday, it's also a lot of fun. Between us we got through more than 3000 broad beans and 3000 onions.

Planting them was nice and straight-forward, but I never quite mastered the peculiar penguin-waddle necessary to tuck them in afterwards.

Half way through our work, we stopped for a fabulous picnic, complete with hand-made crackers, wild garlic pesto and delicious bread rolls. Comfortably stuffed and only really wanting to snooze in the sunshine, We rattled through our AGM at a good pace before returning to our onions. Here they are, stretching off into the distance:

We were keen to see how our hedge was getting on, but when we got there I was distracted by the lovely little common lizard that scurried off into the field margin. I tried to get a photo to show you, but he was much too quick. He was missing a big chunk of his tail, so he's obviously been in a scrape. It's great to see lizards in the field- they wouldn't be there unless there were plenty of insects to eat, so it's an indication that there are good levels of biodiversity on the site for us to start from. We have pledged to increase the wildlife on the farm, and to help us monitor it a local organsation has offered to come and survey the wildlife each year. We'll be sure to publish the results, so you'll be able to see how we're doing.

I know that barn owls use the river valley, so I'd hoped we could put up a nest box for them. But I checked with the RSPB and they said that barn owl boxes should never be put up within a kilometre of a major road- as so many owls are killed by cars. There isn't anywhere on our field that is far enough from the A47 for us to put up a box.

We're still planning to put up bird boxes for smaller birds, bat boxes and bee boxes. We're looking for spots around the field that won't be in the way of the tractor so we can plant wildflowers without them being squashed. We're wondering if there's room for a pond, and reading up on ways to help skylarks breed successfully.

And in the middle of all this we're growing enough veg to feed our members. We want to show how farming can work for wildlife, produce delicious veg, be economically viable and be something we can build a community around.

If you want to be part of our community, please make sure you've let us know: there are only 100 shares to go round and we don't want you to miss out!

No comments:

Post a Comment