Notes from the Farm – January

Jan 12, 2023

Catch up on our news as we prepare for another bumper year on the farm.

Happy New Year to you all! The farm shop is now closed until mid-March, but our milk vending machine remains open 7 days a week 7am – 7pm for fresh milk and flavoured milkshakes. From Monday you can get your Rectory Farm potatoes from the farm yard on weekdays from 8am – 4pm; just drive into the yard across the road from our shop car park and head for the large white walk-in fridge. If somebody doesn’t pop out to help you, call the number on the door and somebody will be along shortly to grab you a sack of whatever you need.

While all looks rather quiet here if you drive through Stanton St. John, there is plenty going on behind the scenes as we prepare for another bumper year on the farm. Wheat is being grown for wholesale customers (we supply Warburtons among other household names in bread) and rape seed is being grown for oil. We’re growing beans which we sell to farmers for cow feed, and our asparagus is in the ground waiting for the air temperature to reach that magic 8 degrees, which is the benchmark for asparagus growth. The English asparagus season starts on St. George’s Day (23rd April) and ends on Midsummer’s Day (June 21st) and astonishingly our asparagus is always ready to pick within a few days either side of the official season’s beginning. Something to look forward to in the not-too-distant future!

Elsewhere our reservoirs which we use to irrigate the farm crops are filling up nicely after the 2022 summer drought with all this rain we’ve had recently. This year we will be using this water to supply our customer loos as well as watering the crops.

Our Ruby Red Rhubarb is in the ground under beds of straw to keep them warm, and they should put in their first appearance mid-April, and in the office we are catching up on our accounts, having a good tidy up and making plans for Mother’s Day, Easter and (we can’t believe we’re saying this…) CHRISTMAS!

Tractors, combines, potato harvesters and other farm machinery are undergoing their annual services – bearings and belts being replaced and so on – and some of our farm and shop team are enjoying some well-earned holidays after a busy festive season.

February will see us pruning gooseberry, blackberry and raspberry plants, and in late February we start ploughing the fields to plant potatoes.

Before we know it spring will be here and we will be reopening for another colourful season. If you haven’t yet signed up to our newsletter, this is our first port of call for key dates, news and offers, as well as our website and social media feeds.

This year we will be running children’s party packages and school trips, so drop us an email if you’d like to know more: [email protected].