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green shoots growing in the biome

green shoots growing in the biome

The biome begins to blossom!

the kitchen table (and linen cupboard) is providing the ambient growing temperature for seedlings!

the kitchen table (and linen cupboard) provides the ambient growing temperature for seedlings!

It began as a small seed of  an idea in our heads following yet another atrocious summer and a rotting defunct vegetable garden.We decided to take the plunge. Cleared an area of scrub, trees and detritus behind the fruit cage and booked in digger Dave to level the site.  Then wondered what we’d done as the rain continued and conditions became increasingly difficult.

Biting the bullet we ordered a polytunnel ‘kit’ and  began the massive construction operation. Backs were almost broken along with spirits. Eventually the monster was assembled. The next task? Working hundreds of tonnes of sodden clay topsoil chockablock with tree, bramble and weed roots into a friable workable tilth. Tonnes of chippings and sand were added along with lime to produce a neutral soil.  Robert hit his wall…but somehow found the strength to soldier on.

men at work. site clearance

men at work. site clearance

digger-driver-dave does his bit

digger dave does his bit

men at work

cold and frustrated

form this...

from this...

...to this

...to this

and eventually this!

and eventually this!

The biome, the biome, the biome…look at it, just look at it. Isn’t it pure pristine perfection?

the biome

the biome from south to north

No, I’m not blowing my own trumpet, rather sounding it for my wrecked other. After days and weeks, actually now I think about it, months, of exhausting back breaking work the polytunnel is  finally ready for planting.

Beds made, paths laid. Tonnes, yes tonnes and tonnes of sodden top-soil, chock-a-block with roots and debris, have been deep dug,  mixed with gravel, sand and lime. Rotavated with our tiny ‘Mantis’ to create a fine tilth and  raked free of stones.

the central atrium

the central atrium

The central atrium will be paved and there we can recline in the dappled shade of the trailing vine, sipping Pimms from tall frosted glasses, all chinking ice, strawberry, crushed mint and apple heaven. Ahhh, summer will happen at Locks Park this year…

let your imagination run riot!

let your imagination run riot - not the weeds!

Back to reality. The biome, we know, will never look this immaculate again. In a couple of week weeds will run riot. But today the first onions were planted into its newness. Potatoes wait, chitting in trays and pots of all sizes are suddenly crammed onto every window sill. This year, whatever the weather throws at us, we will produce our vegetables. Organic veg box anyone?

and from north to south

and from north to south

Locks Park Farm

Thanks for visiting my blog. All entries are presented in chronological order.

I have a small organic farm on the Culm grasslands near Hatherleigh in Devon, with sheep and beef cattle. I've been farming in the county for more than 30 years. I've set up this blog to share views on farming and the countryside - please do give your thoughts.

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The Campaign to Protect Rural England has helped set up this blog. We want farming to thrive in England, and believe that it is essential that people understand farming and farmers better in order for that to happen. Paula's views expressed here are her own and we won't necessarily share all of them, but we're happy to have helped give her a voice.

Find our more about CPRE and our views on food and farming at our website, www.cpre.org.uk