July has still been very busy in the garden, and characterised by cool weather and rain. Which means crops (and weeds!) are growing slower than usual, and I have only had to irrigate outside once, and have been fine to leave the polytunnel for a day unwatered.
In the garden
The herb garden has finally been rotavated and I’ve had to concede defeat to the couch grass, and laid some black plastic to plant through. George and I laughed wryly at our plastic paradise garden as we surveyed the area. A garden of plastic was not my dream for the herb garden, but I cannot keep on top of the perennial weed couch grass, and keep losing my herbs. I have planted nasturcian, borage and calendula plants through the plastic, and have direct sowed some of the same and some cornflowers. I have also planted out Rosemary and sage plants in the plastic, and have direct sowed some yarrow too.
I have spent six days weeding the beetroot after letting it get totally out of control twice, so have implemented a new weeding regime. I have committed to hoeing all the crops at the beginning of the week, rather than letting the weeds progress and then having to spend much longer on weeding.
Some of the sections have got totally out of control with Fat Hen, but the upside is I have been eating and selling some to Manchester Veg People (MVP) and in the market/veg boxes.
The mange tout are being eaten by rabbits and there is no sign of them growing much, or producing a crop 😦
I still haven’t managed to get the leeks planted out or the kales planted out from the cage.
I am still selling oregano and sage regularly to the Unicorn Grocery and MVP. Unicorn are alsobuying dill and tarragon plants from me. I have sold some edible calendula, sage, oregano and coriander flowers to MVP, but haven’t been able to provide a consistent supply. The sage were popular at the beginning of the month, and I have lots of oregano at the end of the month, but nobody is very keen on them. Manchester House restaurant said they were “aggressive.”
I am still selling my beetroot, garlic and fat hen at Levenshulme Farmer’s Market and in the veg boxes.
I have been buying the Kindling Trust’s strawberries for Levenshulme Farmer’s Market and the veg boxes, and they have been fantastic. They have symphony and honeoye varieties. But largely other crops from local growers are slow and there hasn’t been as much local organic crops available as usual.
I saw this post about a project growing microgreens in underground tunnels for restaurants in London. Therefore cutting food miles considerably.
I don’t think this would work in Manchester though, as there aren’t enough of those high end restaurants that would be able to use (and pay!) for microgreens.