Market Garden Updates – What’s Growing this May?
With spring in full swing, we took a trip down to our Market Garden to talk to Head Gardener Kelvin about all things organic produce and gardening…
This spring has been unseasonably cold and rainy, with March 2023 being the wettest for over 40 years in England and Wales. This gloomier weather has meant growing hasn’t been as straight forward as previous years and many small farms, including our Market Garden, have had to adapt to overcome the setbacks poor weather can present.
We took a stroll down to the Market Garden to catch up with Kelvin and the team about what’s growing right now, what’s being planted and other general goings on in our little slice of organic paradise!
As discussed above, the poor spring this year has meant the growing season has been slightly pushed back later than usual this year, however our Market Garden team are well-equipped to deal with the seasons and unpredictable nature of British weather.
Image: Our organic tomatoes are starting to flower!
Our tomatoes are making excellent progress in the polytunnel, sown in late February, they are now thriving, with little yellow flowers blooming, ready to be pollinated, so they’ll be ready for harvesting in the mid-summer months.
Our beetroot and kale have also been planted and are starting to flourish, contributing to the lovely green vibrancy of the Market Garden that we’ve missed over the winter.
What’s being planted?
Kelvin has courgette seedlings ready to go into the ground, after being sown indoors in April. However, due to the unpredictable weather this spring, has been holding off planting them outdoors until the conditions settle down and become warmer.
Whilst it might seem insane to be even mentioning winter before we’ve even reached summer, the Market Garden team is always thinking ahead and planning out months in advance to stay on top of seasonality and ensure we have an abundance of produce year-round. This means Kelvin and co are already sowing seeds for brassicas, onions and leeks in preparation for winter when they come into season.
What’s Being Harvested?
Thanks to the sheltered conditions they create, our polytunnels are flourishing with bountiful salad leaves this May, creating a beautiful sea of green and purple. This week alone the Market Garden team have harvested over 20kg to be sent to our organic inns, farm shops and to be sold online.
Picked fresh off the farm, our organic salad doesn’t travel the vast distances, like that which is imported from other countries, and so retains all that flavour and nutrients which can be lost when in transit for long periods of time.
Kelvin has also been harvesting plenty edible flowers to be used as garnishes at our organic inns and cafes. Both beautiful and tasty these little gems bring a burst of colour and additional touch of flavour to our delicious dishes, such as the chive flower, which is a lovely purple colour and has a distinct oniony taste.
Image: Edible chive flowers have a wonderful oniony flavour.