Welcome to the website of Diss Community Farm, we are a community group, based in and around Diss who have come together to produce food collaboratively in an ethical and sustainable way.
We have a field in Winfarthing, together with three polytunnels; where we meet to work weekly, including harvesting whatever is ready. Whoever is working that day takes home a box of freshly harvested vegetables. Very little money is involved.
It was a cold but glorious January day. There were 3 of us, in a bubble, but very aware of COVID. Diss Community Farm is doing well, although we all miss coming at the same time, and our lovely coffee and cake breaks. We have regular Zoom meetings, and keep up to date using an online spreadsheet, and a white board in the caravan.
Today’s harvest was quite small: broccoli, leeks (which we are sharing with the rabbits) and a last stalk of brussels sprouts.
Mostly, we are getting ready for planting. The photo shows one of our no-dig beds, where we are putting a thick layer of compost, so the new plants will have just that to grow in.
We’ve had a few bright autumn days (with correspondingly lower temperature nights) but with planning and keeping to government guidelines, we should be able to maintain our site.
We continue to harvest eg leeks, while some late planted leeks are progressng well. Patches are rotovated and weeds strimmed and added to the compost bins.
In the spring, marigolds and nasturtiums were planted outdoors and in polytunnels and these continue to flower and do well; how about the nasturtium leaves (pictured in a polytunnel), which measure 22cm across.
We’re now meeting twice a week to permit social distancing of smaller numbers (yesterday there were seven of us and it’s a large area), plus frequent trips are made to the site to ensure the crops receive adequate hydration.
So, fortunately, crops are producing well.
Holly took photos, to document and amuse and I took a couple of our take-home box. The turnip measured 21 cm across and weighed in at 1.07 kg.
We had our first working day of the Coronavirus Era yesterday. We had our coffee break outside on the tables, for the first time this winter, and even then we spread ourselves out widely.
But we were all there!
Some of us will not come to the Tuesday work days for the time being, but will come at other times, and we will liaise by email as to what needs to be done, what to harvest.
We did have quite a large harvest this week as you can see from my boxes. That was partly finishing off some of the last season’s veg to make room for new planting, like last bits of the brussels sprouts plants, and some cabbage fragments. Also, the leeks are beginning to bolt, so we did a very large harvest of them. Not many of them left now.
Salad leaves continue to thrive under cover, although repairs are having to be made to polytunnel plastic, especially as wood pigeons delight in perching on the top central bar, with the result of claw holes in the plastic.
Weeding continues all year round and grass growing well, needs mowing.
Compost also requires attention throughout the year, while patches are rotovated and manure added to other ground.
One storm has passed, thank goodness with the minimal damage of mypex sheets being blown about but these patches can be covered again before weeds take hold.
A group of us turned out yesterday and carried out structural repairs and I think our stalwart weeder completed the mammoth task of weeding the strawberry bed.
Under cover, we’ve had several pickings of salad leaves already this year.
The spinach seedlings have been very slow to germinate so more seeds were sown today to fill the gaps. However, the broad bean plants are looking good and healthy and outdoors the leeks, which had a very shaky start last year, are producing a really good crop.