Rosie’s Diary 2021: Part 5

Nov 2, 2021

Last month, we were greeted with the cooler autumnal weather and darker evenings. The harvest may well be over, but we are still very busy here on the farm. 

We have just finished directly drilling oats and beans into the blackcurrant alleyways. This is our first trial, we have drilled a bit later than we would have liked, but this will help fix the nitrogen and carbon ratio of soil; this will be mulched into the blackcurrants in spring. A huge thank you to Sim-Tech for all of their help, guidance and support during this process. 

The blackcurrant bushes have been given a good short, back and sides (a prune) and dead wooding. The ideal ratio is 70% young/new growth and 30% old, so once this ratio changes on the bushes, we manually go through and pull off the old/dead branches. 

We have also been checking the fields for high levels of gall mite, microscopic bugs that cause abnormal growth of the buds and carry the reversion disease. If found, it is a manual task of removing the swollen, diseased buds to ensure the blackcurrant bushes remain healthy. 

Looking to the year ahead, I am looking forward to the farm becoming much more in sync with nature with a focus on finding new ways to remove reliance on artificial inputs.

Apart from being very busy farming, I’ve also started to consume A LOT of blackcurrant jelly. It is delicious on toast with cheese and roast PHEASANT, an autumn favourite of mine. 

Thanks for following my journey. What a season it’s been! 

Tune in for more updates on our social channels:  

@ukblackcurrantfoundation 

@rosieblackcurrants

 

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