It’s been quite a while since my last update so I thought I’d take the time to let you know how we’ve been getting on.
Six months ago we took on our greenhouse and the ground was covered in snow, now the sun is out and the transformation quite something. There have been some seriously long days over the past few months but it’s safe to say that things are going fairly well.
Our goal this year was to start small and build a model that could be expanded next spring, we wanted to take on small number of customers, develop the seasonal salad we could offer and ensure that everyone we dealt with was happy.
And thus, we have six wholesale customers, a great salad product and so far all the feedback has been very positive.
That isn’t to say it has been easy and all smooth sailing.
The greenhouse was last used five or six years ago and the previous occupant grew plants on top of the soil, as a result the ground was so compacted it was like breaking through concrete. It makes me shudder to think of how many hours it took us to dig the new beds, every inch of ground had to be broken up before we could even consider getting a rotavator in there.
Those very early days would have been an awful lot harder had it not been for a succession of wonderful friends who came and helped out. We owe them all a massive thank you, because had it not been for them I’m sure we’d still be going at those beds.
Trying to grow salad in a greenhouse at the height of summer is not something any horticulturist would recommend and I knew from the moment we took on the greenhouse that summer would be a difficult time, but with no outdoor growing space available we had little option. As expected, some varieties have gone to seed in record time, which has reduced the planned weekly harvest. Along with this we are faced with smaller windows of time in which we can crop the salad as nothing can be done after eight in the morning and before seven at night.
Those long days are getting longer!
Despite this we are managing to keep our customers supplied and with a bit of luck we’ll get through the typically short British summer without too many hitches. It’s not something I’d do again and if we survive the year then there will be a lot more digging to be done as we’re close to arranging an outside growing space for next year.
Watch this space!