April is almost here and everywhere on the farm new life is bursting through.
Our Elephant Garlic crop looks as good as any we have had. Its recovered from the salt burn from the prevailing winter winds coming in from the sea and looks set to deliver beautiful large bulbs in June. Extra Early Wight (we have doubled the area this year) looks like it might even be earlier than the Elephant. It should be some of the first garlic available in northern Europe this year. Selected from Chinese garlic types almost 20 years ago and then further selected since then, it has great vigour and should produce a high proportion of >70mm bulbs (that is big but won't touch the big Elephants at >120mm. Can't wait to show you when they are harvested in June.
The in lamb(pregnant) ewes have done well through the winter on stubble turnip sown after last year's garlic and sweet corn crops. We expect to have ewes and lambs on show around the Farm by Easter.
The highland cows, with their 6 month old calves at foot, are looking well and will soon be moved onto the Downs where their big horns and nimble footwork on inaccessible bramble and gorse slopes make short work of the vegetation, bringing it back to the open spaces which cattle and sheep have created and grazed for over 2,500 years.
These chalk Downs have been used intensively by man at least since the Bronze age . We know the Romans lived here as relics of their 400 year stay are continually turning up. Last month we found a beautiful bronze follis coin of Constantine, around AD320 with pieces of Roman Samian ware (high class table ware) and pieces of Roman glass, all evidence that some of those who lived here 1,700 years ago live very well! The follis bronze coin looks something like this.
The big expectation in April is the first Asparagus which will be on offer in the shop and restaurant at The Garlic Farm.
We will let you know when!