The challenges of growing your own veg

June 30, 2010

It’s proved an uphill task to cultivate vegetables during this long spell of hot, dry weather. Some very welcome rain is now on the way, but the pace of growing has been very slow. 

In the meantime our volunteer growers have been forced to water in the newly-sown seeds and seedlings by hand, which is a thoroughly time-consuming process.

The upside is that the annual weeds have been easier to keep at bay.  This hasn’t prevented the growing team from having to take it in turns to handweed endless rows of tiny carrots and parsnips – not the most popular of jobs!

Over the past few weeks we’ve planted carrots, parsnips, sweetcorn, Swiss chard, perpetual spinach, beetroot, celeriac, self-blanching celery, salad leaves and bee borage. We’re about to sow some bulb fennel, parsley and coriander.

The over-wintered broad beans are cropping well and the Jerusalem artichokes are growing strongly.  The borage is showing its intense blue blossom and beginning to attract lots of bees.

The remainder of the summer crops for our weekly veg boxes are being cultivated mostly by our three expert growers – Jeremy Brown at St Kew Harvest, Jane Mellowship in New Polzeath and Mark Norman in Bodmin.

We’re also buying in delicious Cornish strawberries from pick-your-own Treworder Fruit at Treworder Barton, Egloshayle, Wadebridge.

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