Down on Channel Farm: May report

We have now had the driest winter, following the driest summer, followed by the driest spring I can remember in 20 years. Irrigation has begun in many parts of Fife; we are holding off with some rain forecast this week.

Our cereal crops have all been sown, herbicide and fertiliser all applied. Most crops are three weeks ahead of the stage they were at this time last year.

The potato crop is all planted and the Saxon and Maris Piper harvesting programme is again contracted to Branston of Abernethy. The field is adjacent to an irrigation hydrant, which will be handy if this summer is anything like the last!

The broccoli crop has been reduced slightly partly due to rotation and partly due to market uncertainties. We are only a quarter way into our programme which will continue weekly until July.

The field of clover/vetch in front of the Larder is greening up nicely. This was a trial to see how a green cover crop could survive over winter and capture nitrogen for the following crop, and reducing the need to rely on fertiliser.