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.
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes