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Sheffield Organic Growers Summer Festival, 2014

Chrisby Chris, 5 yr, 8 m ago in Blog
Comments | Tags: Local, summer season, Today, staff, UK

Matt's Polytunnel  id=So what better way to spend a couple of hours on a lovely Saturday afternoon than a trip to a flourishing field full of goodies.

Sheffield Organic Growers second Summer Festival was a fine affair: a nice steady stream of interested people, while I was there, having a good look around at the various plots; enjoying fruit salad, a cream tea or a little light music.  It feels like a another country heading down Lightwood Lane past Frog Pool Farm and into the fields shared by the various different groups of growers that make up Sheffield Organic Growers.

Our own Matt West is just one grower among the four groups that share the site which covers approximately 9 acres of former hay meadow.Just part of the 9 acre site...  id=  The others are Hazelhurst Fruitery, Moss Valley Market Garden and Full Circle Farm.

"It's a clay soil," explained Matt, "which proves difficult to work in the wet weather especially as there is an occasional spring that bubbles up and washes it's way down the site creating muddy patches which are impossible to work." Rows of growing crops in the open field.  matt uses agricultural fleece and other mulches to keep pests away - rabbits, hares and pigeons in particular, to give seedlings the best possible start.  id= He explained that you have to seize opportunities to work as they present themselves because rain and bad weather can be a serious interrupter of plans.  Matt told me how he mis-timed his potato planting this year and fell foul to a patch of bad weather which meant he had to jettison a whole sack of seed potatoes.

"Potatoes have failed three times on this site," he said, "while courgettes have been particularly successful.  To some extent you have to let the land dictate what you plant and work out your own system of rotation."

Matt has a large area of open ground where he's growing three varieties of kale, courgettes, leeks, pumpkins, lettuces and Crown Prince squash Red Batavia Lettuce  id= and strawberries - many of which have already appeared in our fruit boxes.  He's in there somewhere...  id=In his two Polytunnels he has well established cucumber, bean and tomato plants as well as a beautifully fragrant array of sweet peas. Many of Matt's aromatic sweet pea flowers have been handed out to visitors today!  id=

No time to sit down - there's work to be done!  id=

It really is a beautiful site and well worth a visit.  It's great to have such a precious local resource providing top quality organic fruit and vegetables for local people.

Here's to the continued success and the organic growth of the Sheffield Organic Growers!  See you next year!id=

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