It’s been another hectic week at Sugarloaf Ridge Farm. At this time of year the weeks seem to fly by and it’s tricky to get all the jobs on the list ticked off. We have been turning beds over from winter produce to spring and summer crops. This usually involves mulching up the remainder of the crop and along with any weeds. We then use a fork to open up and aerate the soil. Soil amendments are then added, followed by a nice thick layer of compost on top of the bed. Then we are ready to sow the next crop or transplant seedlings into the prepared beds. We have put in another two or three varieties of tomato this week, as well as the regular plantings of lettuce and other leafy greens. We should be getting the rest of the tomatoes, chillies and capsicums into the ground very soon.

Next week we are going to give the rocket a break this week whilst the next crop grows a bit more. I would recommend the Spicy Mustard Mix as an excellent alternative. At this time of year it is beautiful. It has amazing colour and the flavour is not too hot as it has been grown very quickly and is harvested young. There is also some new kale coming on to the list with some lovely young, Tuscan and Dazzling Blue available. We also have the Asian green, Senposai back again.

Broad beans are also starting to make an appearance and we’ll have some young pods ready this week. These are a diverse of broad bean varieties, so it will be pot luck as to which you might get. Some are coloured or spotted broad bean varieties. Though many of the colours don’t come through fully until the beans are mature. An oat crop has grown up amongst the broad beans from some hay that we used as mulch last summer. Whilst the broad beans (and the oats) are doing well it makes the harvest a little more awkward. I think the improvement in the soil will be worth it. The oats also support the beans, protecting them from blowing over in the wind.

In other exciting news (for me anyway) we’ve made some carrot selections for our friend Gregg from Useful Seeds to breed with. We will be embarking on our own carrot breeding program too, using some of the other carrot selections from Gregg’s work. Gregg is working towards a ‘blunt’ Paris market style purple carrot. We are going to try to develop the wedge shaped carrots that have come up in the mix.

It was wonderful to meet so many new local Axedale customers on Tuesday, we hope you enjoy our produce and we thank you for your support.

Brian..

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