News Early June

Good morning
So much for a bright beginning to June. Cloud and rain have certainly slowed things down. In truth the rain is much needed in the field but as ever unbroken sunshine suits us better in the Glasshouse! We certainly haven’t had that. But it is a chance to catch up and clear up now planting is complete. With Courgettes slowing up in this weather, harvesting is minimal but there are areas to be cleared and some later crops begun.
There are also Cucumbers to plant, replacements for the earlier failure. With only 100 of 480 surviving to planting we are woefully short of anticipated production in this period when there is relatively little available, a great disappointment. The few we have are starting to produce but there re so few!
On a brighter note the bunched Carrot harvest has begun and quality is good. They will enjoy this rain. Although there were losses in the cold Spring there are still plenty and in a few weeks we should have loose Carrots as well.
We also have Bean flowers, so only a week late. The crop is very patchy reflecting the difficulty we had in getting it established in the cold Spring. It is getting going now though nod Beans will only be a few weeks way.
But what we really need is for the sun to return.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

News from last Monday:

Good morning
We are still planting. It is relentless through May. The Tomatoes are almost finished, Fennel and Salad Onion in their place and space being cleared as Spring crops finish. We have reached the end of the Spinach and Chard crops and that should make the space to complete the transition to Summer crops.
We still have a week or two of Salads and some Red and Green Oak leaf Lettuce just beginning.
Some sunshine would encourage the first Courgette flowers, while the slightly warming weather has also seen the Celery and Beans start to stretch. So it is all starting to shape but there are still lots of Aubergine and Pepper plants demanding attention.
It is very lean on the production front. Cauliflowers are highly productive but likely to dip until the next variety comes through. All roots but the large Beetroot have finished, Leeks are towards their end and only a few tons of Potato remain. It is a typical “hungry gap”. We are grateful for Asparagus and Rhubarb for some variety and soon we could be looking at Courgettes but Celery. Beans and the bunching Carrots will be more likely to be harvesting in mid June.
It is good to see it all coming on though.
Best wishes Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

News from Hughes 09-05-16

Good morning
The promised heat wave certainly risked the temperature. It has been round 30c in the glasshouse and time to irrigate, which keeps me cool.
It makes harder work of establishing new crops and speeds on existing ones. It is a blessing though and will hopefully make up some lost time for the early yielding crops. It looks like being a late season though.
The season has brought on the Batavia Lettuce nicely and they will flush for a couple of weeks and hopefully the Oak leaves will soon follow.
With a return to a northerly airflow forecast for the end of the week we had better make the most of the remaining spell.
With Tomatoes ready to plant and Aubergine and Peppers due next week it will be a busy couple of weeks completing the planting.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

News from the glasshouse

Good morning.

At last some sunshine to speed things up and although the outside air is still cold, the glasshouse soon warms, at least by day. We will see the difference this week both in the standing crops and the seedlings, which will soon be chasing us for attention after a period of slow growth. We will complete the over wintered Spinach and Lettuce harvest this week and will have to wait a few weeks for the Spring plantings to mature. Chard will fill the gap and Leaf salads will soon follow, a week’s sunshine should get them going. Warmer prospects may just suit the sowing of early Beans and Courgettes which will really be a step into Summer mode.
So there is some positive movement in the Glass but outdoor work has been hampered by the heavy rain. It is not often I report that. Drilling has been delayed but conditions should improve significantly this week.

Best wishes,
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

Latest Hughes News:

Good morning
The cold has certainly slowed things up.
Sprouting Broccoli is still scarce although it has been possible to gather some Cauliflower between frosts, some of which have been quite severe in Lincolnshire. So we do have some Cauli available although it will be of smaller size, being packed at 15/box, rather than be allowed to grow on and expose the curd to the frost.
As soon as the weather turns for the better we hope the Spring Brassicas will be full on.
In the Glasshouse it is similar, with crops almost ready. A little overwintered Lettuce could start next week although the majority is expected for mid April.
Salad leaves will be mid March for any reasonable quantity but Spinach and Chard will gather pace now and we will start with a smaller bag size which will increase as the crop develops.
So slowly the crops should start coming in and we will be into Spring and we can look forward all that it brings.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes


A word from Hughes:

Good morning
As anticipated the cold has held back the Cauliflower for a week but the promised crop should begin along with some PSB next week we hope.
The glasshouse continues to make good progress. The timetable gradually takes shape as the plant raising schedule is confirmed. We look set to be busy planting through April and May. Over wintered crops must be cleared to make way, so now we can schedule the harvesting of the Chard, Spinach and salads that currently occupy space and the stream of seedlings ready to plant.
Already the pace is increasing and the energy rising.
The first drilling of bunching Carrots will take place this week, the ground protected over winter with black weed suppressant covers. On the light sands here at Breckland the accent is on early cultivations so they will be busy on the farm as well.
Of the Winter crops, Carrots look to continue and are in better condition than feared, although still a light crop. Our longstanding relationship with Woodlands has helped to maintain sufficient supply despite the shortage. They should continue into April we hope.
Greens are also plentiful and should be around for a while but Breckland Savoy will finish this week, although there will be alternatives.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

News from Hughes

Good morning.
There is a thin layer of snow on the ground, and a chill Easterly wind outside so we have a brief taste of Winter, I hope. Just as the mild weather has prematurely wakened the plant world and insects (I spotted several ladybirds this week), I have been feeling quite enthused for the new season, but a spell of cold will slow the haste to set seeds and the ladybirds will retire for a longer rest. So a brief spell of cold I hope.
Our fieldsman will have prepared for the cold forecast and Leeks were harvested before the weekend and the same will be true of the roots. Savoys have protective covers to keep the snow off so we don’t anticipate any interruptions to supply with several crops in store already.
Good news is we have been informed there will be Carrots at least until the end of March and probably Early April depending how they hold up. Cauliflowers and some PSB should start next week although that may get set back if the cold weather is prolonged
Best wishes ,
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

News from early February

Good morning
As February looms I realise it is time to draw all the thoughts and
plans for the coming season together. Ordering becomes increasingly
imperative as sowing and planting dates loom ever closer and the sense
of urgency increases after a relatively relaxed period. Should the
Winter continue in a mild vent then there will be advantages to be
gained early on. We have some over wintered salads coming ready to
plant and some Chard germinated at ambient temperature over Christmas!
More sowings are planned for this week to take advantage of the
continuing warmth.
The Autumn planted chard and Spinach are also being tidied and watered
and look likely to crop again in March. It will start to get busy now
in preparation for a major planting period in March to catch some
early crops to clear before summer planting.
With the Winter vegetable supply relatively stable in the mild
conditions the main question will be how long they will last,
particularly Carrots. But we do have some Spring Greens this week, 2
months earlier than last year! They will continue for good while.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

News from our suppliers.

Good morning.
As we enjoy another mild period after our little Winter there does not seem too much harm taken.
So produce remains much the same although the Cauliflowers are in their last week before a gap in production principally due to the early maturity in the mild weather.
There is also a rise in the price of Carrots to be noted. Otherwise supply is reasonably stable.
As January comes to an end it is time to focus on seed and plant schedules which always casts one’s mind to new growth and the prospect of Spring, most heartening and always bringing a sense of optimism and anticipation.
Best wishes,
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

Grahame and Lizzie’s words from last week.

Good morning
We hope everyone has enjoyed enjoyed a restful and replenishing break from the general routine but of course at some point we have to address the realities of a new year. Nobody thinks too much about it during the Christmas period and little information is available regarding crops. Usually things are much as they left off pre Christmas with cold weather stabilising or at worst possibly threatening crops, but not this year. With temperatures 9.5c above average and sunshine levels way higher than normal in December it is hard to predict what might happen next.
Warm Autumns are typical of a strong El Nino event but usually the pattern continues with a cold New Year, but that looks some way off.
I n terms of supply at the moment our assumption is for much of the same and certainly that should hold for roots which will benefit from some extra growth after the dull, slow Autumn, but above the ground who knows. Savoy Cabbage will be plentiful for a few weeks at least but may well hurry through unusually quickly, while Cauliflower is more uncertain showing signs of the curds cracking even before Christmas. We will be unsure until they lift the protective covers next week and while we have reason to be optimistic in the short term they are unlikely to stand for long. Spring varieties will likely be earlier as well so it depends what weather follows as to availability.
Leeks are also plentiful and growing strongly but in the mild damp conditions are more likely to succumb to rust and other such fungal ailments while early flower initiation is also likely. It is a typically unusual conundrum!
In the Glasshouse we cropped quite actively before Christmas but I was surprised at the regrowth when I looked yesterday. But there will be scarce Chard and salad for a few weeks but a the whole Lettuce growth is good with Green Oak making a useful 100gm heads so we will concentrate on those for now.
Best wishes to you all for the coming year and of course many thanks for your custom and support over the past 12 months. We hope we can continue and improve this going forward although the uncertainties thrown at us by Climate change coupled with our inherently unstable weather make for an interesting if challenging scenario.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes