Wednesday, 10 February 2016

With Views of Mt Cloudy....

Good to see some blue skies, and fluffy clouds today after days of rain.
The earlier pictures posted a couple of days ago were cheating; plucked from the summer skies; but just occasionally 'cheering up' has to come before authenticity...

The recent deluge has meant its been tricky enough to get traction on the good earth; let alone the truth. 
And narrowly avoided an hilarious 'trollley full of beetroot / slippery mud' incident earlier today. 

The farm is blessed with a free draining sandy loam. An unusual soil for Devon; which, when combined with the south facing aspect of the slope gives for 'early ' land.

It means that the cultivation, planting, and growing seasons, can be stretched a little longer than elsewhere. 
So greater productivity per acre, just add proper amounts of compost, some seeds, and lots of love (for love read labour)

Here on the tilled area pictured we can just make out the green fuzz of ryecorn that was sown late last Autumn, its not showing a lot of bulky growth yet but a few more warm days like this (mmm please, sky pixies) and it will start to get going.

The lightness of the soil does mean that come the summer (oh yes, very much please) conditions can get a bit droughty.. But having sunk a 20 m borehole  soon after buying the land does means that there is an almost unlimited source of free water for ever. Free that is but for the cost of the electricity to pump it. 
And in addition; an ingenious irrigation system encircling the veg plot; facilitates the application of water when, and where, it's needed.

So I'd far rather have things a bit on the dry side. Working on the principle that you can add water; but you can't take it away...   

The grass is fairly verdant on both sides of the fence right now, it'll be back to mowing before long,,,

July here, last year...

One of my top ten fave tools..... 'The Rain Train'

(I don't think the Ford in the background is feeling threatened by my display of affection)

Hard to imagine right now, but there are times when the ground needs to be made wetter. Most irrigation on the veg plot is done by dripper tape laid out alongside the crops. 
But this cute little device is good for watering larger areas. Here preparing the ground to receive the leeks in July.The soil needs to be moist, to create effective planting holes for leek transplants.

So another ingenious invention from our friends across the pond. A sprinkler; modeled on a darling little yellow tractor; for practical purposes not just to appeal to soft in the head types like myself.

You plug the hose into its rear end; its front wheels then sit either side of the pipe, the bigger lugged wheels at the back get a grip; and once turned on; the water pressure drives the gadget back along the pipe. It stops when a push up button underneath meets a little ramp you've fixed astride the pipe where you want it to finish.

It can malfunction if it hits a soft spot and gets bogged down by watering itself into the ground... But at least I don't have to swallow my pride, and go and fetch a local farmer to pull me out of that particular hole....

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