Sunday, 12 February 2017


January on the farm

The farm never stops!
Did you know that winter is good for the ground? Yes, freezing and thawing reduces compaction, snow replenishes moisture and cold temperatures control insect populations, sounds great, doesn’t it? Don’t ask the same thing for EVS. EVS are onions in winter. I can’t wear more layers of clothes because I can’t close my coat. However, it’s fun because we are so round and heavy that if we fall down in the mud, we will roll and if we fall down in a puddle, we will go directly to investigate the bottom off the puddle.

Ogres (and EVS) are like onions

We had to remove the snow to let the light through the polytunnel

There was low light inside the politunnel

What have we harvested?                                                                                                                                           

We continue harvesting Russian kale, Pentland brig and Hungary gap kale. In the field we have noticed a considerable decrease in Black and Scarlet kale leaves so we have stopped harvesting these two types of kale. The amount of Pentland brig kale is also decreasing.

Scarlet kale
Black kale
Kale field

From the brassicas family, we have harvested... 
cauliflower :D

And some cabbage!

Cabbage like a head
We are still delivering potatoes and carrots and some Jerusalem Artichokes which have been delivered promptly.
Alien Jerusalem Artichoke
This month we have harvested all the Swedish turnips. Before storing them, we did a great job selecting the best Swedish and cleaning them of from roots and scraps.

Harvesting Swedish turnips
Cleaning Swedish

Swedish turnips ready to delivery

About plants with bulb, we continue delivering onions that we have stored.
In the polytunnels we continue harvesting many varieties of Salads (mild and spicy). These salads are a mixture of green and red lettuce. We also have baby spinach and mustard spinach.

Salad & Corn salad

Baby spinach

Mustard spinach


Turnip harvested

Also this month we have harvested a box of turnips and several boxes of turnip greens.

In the field there is still celery that resists frost.

Rainbow chard


What are we planting?                                                                                                                                                

We continually plant different types of salad such as corn salad , green and red oak lettuce

Planting corn salad

Watering corn salad
Planting green lettuce
Planting red lettuce

What is growing?                                                                                                                                                         
In the field, Brussels sprouts grows slowly

3rd Polytunnel


Red butter lettuce

Red oak lettuce

Red oak lettuce & Mizuna lettuce

Red and green lettuce in 3rd polytunnel

Ruby streaks Mustard & Romaine lettuce

Ruby streaks Mustard

Green lettuce

Green lettuce

Green oak lettuce

Mustard spinach

Golden streaks mustard

Red lettuce

Corn salad

Baby spinach

Rainbow chard

Germination tests of rye and wheat seeds

What jobs have there been on the farm?                                                                                                                

One of the main jobs of the month of January was turning the compost. The compost should be rotated once a month to avoid compaction of the organic matter and favor aeration inside the compost bed. One of the keys to create successful compost is the aeration and the bacteria. These bacteria need oxygen to produce the aerobic respiration and to carry out the process of transformation.
Turning compost


Making compost is very a easy way to take advantage of the waste that we generate, in addition, it’s necessary to return to the soil all the nutrients that it has given us. The food returns to the "cycle of life", naturally fertilizing our crops.
Raquel turning compost
Goi turning compost
Another of the main jobs that we have had to do was to clean the compost toilet. The EVS take turns and every month one of us is in charge of keeping it clean.
This type of toilet is characterized by not using water. It uses the compostation (aerobic fermentation) and drying to degrade the fecal matter. It’s important to keep it in the best conditions since it’s the common toilet of the farm and in the near future organic waste will become a great source of nutrients for fruit trees, for example.

In January we had a delivery of straw rolls. I never thought the straw rolls were so heavy! We had to work in teams to be able to coordinate and take each roll of straw from the trailer on the ground. That day was fun and tiring!

Weeding is always necessary. In the polytunnels we continue weeding and keeping it clean and in the best possible conditions for the lettuce, spinach, green garlic and rainbow chard and crops which are inside the polytunnel.

Another great news of the month has been the delivery of a new polytunnel. We are working in teams to build it. At the moment, we have dug to put the metal bars that are the support of the polytunnel. We have also spent a lot of time digging next to the metal bars because the plastic cover will go inside the ground to ensure the stability.

Coming soon 4th polytunnel


We had the second training in Dublin at the end of January. This will be the last. The retreat was very pleasant and helpful to meditate about our projects and also about ourselves. We thought about important questions such as: are you fulfilling your dream?, Is the volunteering changing your life? Is the volunteering changing the way you are?, What will you do when it ends? They were interesting questions to reflect on.

EVS in Ireland!!!

EVS hands (thanks Anne for the photos)

What did we do in our free time?                                                                                                                               

Community coffee

Community coffee (Emily, Goi and I)

The discover of the year: Mossfield organic cheese

As Einstein said: The cold doesn’t exist. Cold is 'the absence of heat'. This phrase is difficult to apply in early morning but I try to remember it every day. I dedicated my free time to taking photographs. The snowfall was a good reason to leave the house, walk with the camera and photograph snowy landscapes. --OK, only snowed one day but it was very exciting hahaha 😅

Rhubarb grows very fast!

Rhubarb growing at Ena's

Birds at Eileen's house

Blue tit birds at Eileen's

Blue tit bird

Blue tit bird eating
 I will write new post, always with new learnings as you can see !!

Have a great time, see you soon!