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. 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." 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 and strawberries - many of which have already appeared in our fruit boxes. In his two Polytunnels he has well established cucumber, bean and tomato plants as well as a beautifully fragrant array of sweet peas.
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.blog comments powered by Disqus