Monday, 6 March 2017

February

It's true, I used to be like those people who always arrive “just in time” for meetings, trains, etc… On 21st of February, I decided to change. The ecovillage was going to be on the EcoEye Climate Change program and I had to start watching as soon as started because I didn’t know at what part in the episode our friend and neighbour Peadar Kirby was going to be interviewed. I sat on the couch at 6.50pm because the show started at 7.00pm. For once I arrived with time to spare. I was watching the TV when suddenly ... the weather. The W-E-A-T-H-E-R. The news was finishing and they showed the weather report. The weather was going to change!!!!! The weather was going to change, YES!!! The weather was going to change... WORSE. Very good.

Storm Doris
Storm Doris was going to visit Ireland: rain, cold and wind. It was going to be a 3 for 1, like the fruit offers at Centra’s.
The EVS in the polytunnels

 What have we harvested?                                                                                                          



Harvest in the Coach-house
Harvest in the Coach-house
After leaving some time to Scarlet Kale to recover from the frost, it seems that it is already recovering and its leaves sprout again little by little. At the moment, we are slowly harvesting this kind of kale. 
We cut the top to avoid the flower and for regrow the leaves

We continue harvesting Pentland Brig, Red Russian and Hungry Gap Kale as always. 

Red Russian kale

Hungry Gap kale

Pentland Brig kale
In February there has been a new member harverst of Brassicas, this month we have harvested the Ancient Irish cabbage, a plant that grows wild around the farm and that conserves all the original nutrients of the Brassica family.
Ancient Irish cabbage
In February we are seeing the first crops of purple broccoli and we have picking some Brussels’ sprouts and Brussels’ Tops. 
Purple broccoli

Purple broccoli plant
We have harvested the last cauliflowers.



Cauliflowers
Brussels’ Tops
Brussels’ sprouts













This month we  have had a very rich in Brassica harvest, we were picking Savoy cabbage, a sturdy plant which has grown very well during the winter. Now, there are not many quantityes of Savoy cabbages leaf in the field, perhaps enough for a couple of weeks.

Savoy cabbage

Savoy cabbage
The celery is also running low in the field.
We continued delivering potatoes that we had stored. Our carrots and beets have been finished but more have been bought from another organic farm. On the farm there are no more Swedes stored. Some of them appear mixed with potatoes. We also have harvested white turnips growing on the fields, near the polytunnels.
White turnips
From the Alliums, there are fewer and fewer onions stored. In the field we are harvesting delicious leeks. Each week we filled 1 big box with leeks.
Leeks

Leeks field

Washing leeks
In the polytunnels we were harvesting some herbs that grow slowly as parsley, French chervil  or coriander. 
Parsley, French chervil  and coriander
We have also harvested Baby and mustard/Komatsuna spinach, corn salad and  turnip greens 
Mustard spinach

Harvesting lambs lettuce

Lambs lettuce
Kevin continues harvesting tasty spicy & mild salad.
Spicy salad
Mild salad

 What is growing?                                                                                                        





Moroccan peppermint

Moroccan peppermint






In the third polytunnel there is a fence for the peas' growth 


In the soft fruit field the first shoots are appearing...





Rhubarb

 What were we planting?                                                                                              




Namenia lettuce


Propagation polytunnel working

Lettuce, polystar chives, sweet peppers, chilies, tomatoes, leeks and millions of onions... 

We planted one kind of purple onion called Shallot 'F1 matador', Don’t you know what it is? Actually, I didn’t know either. When I googled  it, I found a very curious definition from “Seedaholic.com”:

"Shallot 'F1 Matador' is exceptional French (onion) variety that grows from seeds. (...) Shallot is the sexy cousin of the ramshackle house-frau that is the common onion. While the onions are large and cheeky, the shallot is slender and sophisticated with a discreet charm. In much of Europe, especially France, the shallot is treated with reverence and used with intelligence and finesse."



 What jobs have there been on the farm?                                                                                 


NEW!!! We have built the new propagation polytunnel! Despite the few people and the weather which didn’t help us, the 4th polytunnel of the farm is ready!! The name of our new tunnel is still to be confirmed, but "Goia" (a mixture of Goi –EVS- and Goya, the painter) is one of the most likely names. This day was Goi's birthday and the name of Goya because obviously our polytunnel is a great piece of art that has taken time and effort! I will write more about the building day in a few days.
4th polytunnel

Wendy made a lovely cake for Goi's birthday

We have received lots of bio-substrate bags to begin the seedlings of the plants that are to come.
Bio-substrate
After building  the polytunnel, we started to sow the onions. We had to prepare 100 traiys of 150 cells each. We added the bio-substrate, the seeds and we had to cover with more substrate.

Adding bio-substrate

100 traiys of 150 cells

We made new waterproof labels to put in the vegetables boxes. Now the presentation of the vegetables in the Coach-house is a little cleaner and clearer.

New labels
Aleix and Andrew are digging a path between the growing beds of the second polytunnel. Now people can walk avoid smashing the lettuce and avoid the compaction of the crop soil by people wolking on it.
Aleix digging

New path
Martin has been working on the back gate of the second polytunnel. He had dug and removed some soil and added stones to the ground. This has been to avoid water runoff inside the polytunnel when there is rainfall and, in addition, also serves as a barrier to hinder entry to the snails.

Martin saying: "look at my work"

Stones in the gate
We have received many kilos of potatoes to plant and for the moment they are stored.

Organic seed potatoes
Kevin made a wall of straw blocks to protect the seeds of sown tomatoes. The straw castle worked very well isolating the small seedlings from hungry animals and also the crazy weather.
Straw castle

Straw castle

All the pigs on the farm are gone and in place of the pigs has come the great Sanson. Sanson is an 8 year old pig, is a bit deaf and is a bit shy. He was at the farm a few months ago and now he has returned to Cloughjordan as he didn’t seem to be comfortable in his new home. These days Sanson is sleeping a lot and seems a little out of place, we hope that he adapts and improves as soon as he can.
Aleix feeding Sanson

Sanson

 What did we do in our free time?                                                                                                


On Saturday 4th of February, we went to the talk by Jason Kirkpatrick, an environmentalist anti-globalisation activist who was spied on by Mark Kennedy in England

Spied anti-globalisation activist 

Babysit Rook 😍

Rook

February 24th was the CSA day (Celebrate Community Supported Agriculture): it's a special day celebrated to promote agriculture on a small and family scale. It is a support for local farms


Photos in February

Dawn in Cloughjordan

Poppy

Kara & Poppy

Kara

Kara & Poppy



Spring, we know you're there

we are waiting for you