Certified Organic for another year!

We had our annual Organic inspection last week by the Soil Association. It’s always a bit of a last dash to get my records in presentable in order to show the inspector but as usual I was able to answer all the questions and provide all the necessary information. Essentially it’s all about record keeping and traceability. They need to be able to trace a product back though the packing process, growing in the field, propagation as a seedling to the seed the compost it was grown in.

 

People often expect that it’s about testing my soil to check I’m not using chemicals but they don’t test the soil unless they suspect malpractice. If there was a suspicious lack of weeds that indicated the use of herbicide then they would take a soil sample for testing but it’s to expensive to test the soil of every Organic farm every year so they leave it to the experience and discretion of the inspectors to spot any signs which indicate deviation form the Organic standards.

 

We had minor noncompliance which is that we don’t label the veg bags to show that they are Organic and grown by us. Again it’s about traceability and it’s just a case of adding the correct information to the label that’s already on the bags. It’s good to know we are clear to sell our veg as Organic for another year

Tricky Season

It’s been a tricky season with a wet and cold start followed by relentless sun! We’re doing our best to keep on top of the irrigation but there are things that have suffered – potatoes especially. The weather and some other factors have meant that there are a couple of crops that have failed or not done as well as normal this summer which makes it harder to keep the veg shares are varied as we would like. However we’ve had plenty of cucumbers and lettuce – great in this hot weather – and courgettes too – hopefully not too many for our members! We’re also looking forward to some fantastic tomatoes which are just getting going. We’re especially pleased with the flavour of the ‘bartelly’ cherry tomatoes we’ve grown for the first time.

 

This week we should finish planting the last of our main crops – cauliflower, kale, savoy cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli. Then we can focus our attention on weeding in the coming weeks. We’ll also be pulling onions to dry in the field – perfect conditions at the moment. We’re hoping for a reasonable harvest as onions are one of the least demanding when it come to water.