A day at Cropshare for me, usually starts the previous day. This was true of yesterday’s trip to Willow Farm in Lode as I was making bread for the shared lunch. I mixed flour, water and salt along with my sourdough starter. I then left the mixture in the tin to rise overnight. It turned out that this was a little too long and the bread was slightly over-proved. This did not seem to diminish its popularity however.
So after, retrieving the bread from the oven, I cycled to the roundabout near Darwin Nurseries on the Newmarket Road where I waited for the group who met up by the Green Dragon bridge for the ride.
On arrival at the Farm, as usual before the enjoyment of working on the farm we were forced to endure drinks of tea and coffee and indeed second cups as rain delayed play slightly, though not enough to significantly affect the very dry ground.
So a few minutes later than normal we headed out, either to the planter or to hoeing duty.
I was on the planter, a machine that is towed behind a tractor and has pikes that make holes in the ground and fills them with water (actually seaweed solution) and then the four people sitting on the seats pick out plug plants and push them into the holes.
Prior to lunch, I was planting leeks which was very successful apart from some times the water hole in the planter blocked up, meaning some holes didn’t get any water. In the afternoon, we managed to resolve this by upping the water flow on the wheels that were affected slightly.
Lunch as ever meant eating far too much. Usually I would be cycling home after this but yesterday I stayed on for the afternoon session and then some more planting but this time of Celery and Celeriac. This finished early at 4pm as there was a visit to the farm by subscribers to the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box scheme. I joined the tour of the farm and learned a few bits and bobs but did know most of what was going on despite never having had a formal tour of the Farm before.
There then followed, tea (well Pimms actually) and scones with cream and raspberries along with some playing at circus skills with the young daughter of two of the box scheme subscribers.
The return cycle ride was quieter than I am used to but the highlight of this was a low flying Buzzard, probably hunting and following the hedge line just ahead of us for almost a mile, though we never saw it actually go to ground to pick up any food.