The weather has been cold since my last post and it seems that the warm sunny weather of March was just a tempter to let us all know what we’d be missing out on. Anyone who has been out in the gardens will have noticed that growth has been very slow and this is no different at the farm at ringrone. I have lots planted ready for it to warm up, so I am hoping ( with some brighter forecasts for next week) that everything will get going and catch up a little. In fact, there are some crops such as squash and french beans that don’t like the cold so i have delayed sowing these a little in order to give them half a chance. In the mean time weed growth has also been slow ( at least that’s a bonus) so Shane ( my intern) and I have been out hand weeding the carrots, parsnips and leek seed bed as well as hoeing the onion and brassica plots and trying to get more beds ready for yet more planting and sowing. The sweetcorn and courgettes are just hardening off ready for planting this week ( courgettes were set back by a massive mouse attack which nibbled their way through 90% of my seeds from their pots and had to be resowed). In fact the propagation tunnel has been brimming of late and their more brassicas such as kale, red cabbage, broccoli and romanesque caulis all to plant out this week as well as the second outdoor sowing of carrots to be drilled direct into the beds.
The tunnels are looking much happier than outside, thre’s good sized carrots already, beets are coming on as well as scallions, kohl rabi and peas. Looks like our first harvest will be on time which makes me very very very happy! and some what relieved given the weather we’ve been having. We just have to hope temperatures stay consistently warmer into the summer months to give the outdoor crops a little helping hand and all will be grand!
Open day this wednesday 23rd may 7pm
After a wet winter, the garden has been a little bit slow to get going this spring. it has been a waiting game before the ground was dry enough to get the plough in. When it was finally ploughed, it was a pleasant surprise to see it come up quite nice a crumbley, much dryer than expected. As kgg starts its 3rd year growing in the garden at ringrone, I think the soil is starting to show the real benefits of management using organic methods. By feeding the soil with compost and growing deep rooted cover crops the soil structure is improving which is wonderful to see.
Damp soil and and thoughts of winter all seem a world away since this past week has been such stunning weather and with more forecast. It has given me the opportunity to catch up with the sowing and planting that had been slightly slowed by the damp conditions.
Spuds were planted this weekend, an increase in square meterage from last season as requests for more potatoes came form our member last season. We now have 250 square meters compared to last years 100. We only grow early potatoes as they avoid the worst of the blight problems and since nothing is sprayed (even with organically allowed chemicals) in the garden this is the best form of attack. This year I planted orla and colleen ( colleens very popular last year) both of which are lovely spuds.
the first cabbages and cauli’s are also planted and the carrots and parsnips soon to be sown. Only trouble is with this weather is where to find a day off? it’s too tempting to be getting stuff done, but the sunshine is just wonderful to be out in so no complaints here.
One big help is the commencing of the placement for my new intern through a fás scheme. Shane will be with me 4 days a week for the next 6 months to learn all about small scale market gardening and CSA’s. So far he has been excellent, welcome Shane and thanks for you hard work over the past couple of days! long may they continue!!!!!!
January 26, 2012 | in News
So here we are in 2012 and getting ready for a new season ahead of us. I have received one box of seeds so far and am waiting on the second. It’s so exciting, getting ready to sow the first seeds. This week I will be building new staging from recycled pallets for the propagation tunnel. I will weed and water the hotbed and turn it on(it’s made of sand with electric heater cable running through it so it must be kept moist to conduct and keep the baby plants warm as they’re germinating). The first seeds to be sown will be Summer cabbage and cauliflower which will be ready for June. Then soon enough i’ll be sowing Tomatoes, Peppers, Aubergines and onions throughout Feb. As soon as the ground is ready around the beginning of March, the whole acreage will be ploughed and harrowed ready for broad beans and early spuds to be planted direct. I am hoping to buy a little 2 furrow plough so that I can practice my ploughing with Rusty the tractor. Rusty needs new tyres first though, I haven’t been able to take him out over the winter because one tyre is so bald that any amount of mud and he’ll get stuck. So he needs a bit of TLC, but once that’s sorted he’ll be ready to go!!!
We were so happy to be out harvesting the fruits of our labour for the first time last Tuesday! In some ways it’s hard to believe how quickly time has flown since we finished last season’s bags. In other ways, just on a personal level, we are delighted to be eating lots of fresh veg again now that the long ‘hungry gap’ is over.
Most of the Veg we have been harvesting has been grown in our three polytunnels which keep everything windproofed, warm and at the right moisture ( with a little help from our drip irrigation lines). Still to come from the tunnels we have Peas, French beans, Basil, Two types of Tomatoes, Peppers and Aubergines. Whilst coming on outside you can look forward to Courgettes, pointy cabbage, cauliflower, Broad beans, summer broccoli and turnips all in the next month.
The weather has been very drying in the past month, the rain just seems to skirt around Kinsale! We’ve also have had lots of wind and this dries out the soil. We could really do with a good bit of rain sometime soon. The result of this in the garden is that the crops planted in the last month have been quit slow to get established, extra watering from us has helped but we can’t do the job as well as a good soak from the heavens. So we will keep looking up and praying for a drop or two.
we have been very very busy sunbathing these past few weeks! well that’s not strictly true but we have been enjoying the fantastic weather, even though we were hugely relieved to get some rain, it was needed! Generally crops are doing really well. Certain crops in the tunnels are absolutely flying. We have drip irrigation in there so we could keep them all well watered right through the dry spell. We now have the tunnels firmly closed up to try to keep the heat in as everything will have got used to having things lovely and warm. There are possibilities with certain sensitive plants that they could interpret the sudden drop of temperature to mean the end of the season and therefore start to produce seed heads instead of growing more. We hope this doesn’t happen but we will keep a close eye.
With so much dry weather to be working in we seemed to be on top of things at this stage. The wet period is not only helping the crops to grow though, the weeds will also have been given a helping hand. So as soon as the soil drys up we will have our hoes ready to start weeding the rows of veg.
The bulk of the sowing in the propergation tunnel is almost complete. 300 pots have been sown with various varieties of squash recently, the courgettes are up and it won’t be long before they can be planted too. In fact, the prop’ tunnel is bursting to the edges, with sweetcorn, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, cauliflower, herbs, and lots more.
check out our photos on flickr to see in more detail how things are coming along!
February 25, 2011 | in News
As we wrap up the previous season another one begins. This month we have sown cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, Aubergine and Peppers. Cabbage is flying after the diposable of one unwanted sluggy friend, and cauli’s just poking their heads, Tomatoes are up and their pepper friends still biding their time. Today it’s onion time, around 12,000 to be sown! soon the propagation tunnel will be brimming. Now all we need is for the rain to stop and we can get on with cultivation.
On 14th feb, a romantic day for some, Our eyes met with a handsome fellow in tractor form. A 1969 Massey Ferguson 135 to be exact. We have harrow, and transport box bought with rotavator on order, now we just need a plough and we’ll be away!
praying for dry days with a but of wind for measure.
January 31, 2011 | in News
Hello, everybody and welcome to our first ever blog! It is nearly one year since we first arrived on the land at Ringrone and began erecting polytunnels and sowing crops to create our garden there. Throughout the summer we would say how we regretted not choosing a spot to take photos at the same time everyday, to be strung together as a time lapse animation at the end of the year. At least we have the images of what we think it would have looked like in our heads.
From plough and harrow; bare earth to a light green hue of weeds, wild oats and Brassicas. They steadily get hoed away in squares and rectangles to make way for sowing. Crops are planted in dice pattern and begin to grow, thin lines of plants fatten out to meet each other, making blocks of colour. Weeds grow in between rows and are hoed away to reveal stripes of green foliage and brown earth. There is a flush of yellow as the wild charlock, that grows in the pathways, flowers. Greens become greener, yet no one the same. A spell of rain creates rich fertile browns almost hidden by the flourish of growth it supports. Diversely planted areas begin to flower, displaying speckled reds, purples, whites and yellows. The patchwork quilt keeps changing, flickering through the summer months and into Autumn; greens become duller. Yellows and browns of decay take hold at different rates and the dark earth is once again revealed. A flash of white; frost and snow cover the land. When it reveals what lies beneath, the green and lush patterns have been reduced to bedraggled greys where once proud crops lie flattened and deceased on the wintry earth. Patches gradually become dotted with black as wheel barrows of manure are dished out to replenish the earthly stocks. Once again the land is ready to be turned, a clean slate renewed and the next year’s patchwork sown.
Much to our delight, this morning we discovered the closest we are going to get to this image outside of our minds eye. We have been logging on to google earth all season praying for the outdated images to be updated. This morning we got our wish. We think the pictures are from about july. The crops that you can see have all but been eaten by our trusty crew of 30 members. well done. it looks like quite a mouthful from space!