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It seems that we are now approaching a limit for the box scheme, and will soon not take on more customers unless someone drops out. It isn't due to a shortage of produce, it's our capacity to pack, store and deliver the boxes whilst remaining primarily organic growers, and still relatively sane!

Our two large polytunnels continue to be planted up for the winter and spring. This week the tomatoes were removed, soon it will be the turn of the aubergines and peppers. The long windrows of plant waste and weeds have been mainly flailed and collected, and are now being composted, along with some green manures. There is a danger of this heap over-heating, so we'll turn it in a day or two before it goes to ash. The browns for the last batch included cross-shredded corrugated cardboard, as usual, along with part composted woodchip that has been through the chipper shredder. This is an experiment to see if the result will be fine enough to spread next spring.

The cereal rye and vetch sown a couple of weeks ago has germinated well and will be a great help in keeping the soil in good heart and preventing nutrient loss. The green manure of rye grass and vetch that was thickly sown in the late summer has produced a dense stand. We'll cut this to 100mm and compost it in the outside pens. The wheelings left by the big tractor and flail mower will become the paths between the brassica beds next year, whilst the green manure should recover and grow away in the early spring. Our stone burier will then establish the beds by producing a good tilth and incorporating the chopped up plant matter in the top 75mm or so, ready for transplanting. Or not, if the spring is very wet.

Covid 19 Update: We have decided to reduce all contact to a minimum in the hope that we remain uninfected and can continue working. If anyone here becomes ill, it is likely to cause a suspension of deliveries. If you are self-isolating, please let us know by email what arrangements you have in place to avoid contact with your driver. We will still need empty boxes back, please, and it is more important than ever to keep them dry and serviceable. May you all avoid the virus, and if not, then make a full recovery.

Tea and cakes at our open day



Leeks planted through ground cover


Brassicas planted through clover


Compost made from docks


Arkstone Mill Produce, Arkstone Mill, Kingstone, Hereford HR2 9HU
Tel: 01981 251135
paul@arkstonemill.co.uk