A week at Yorkshire Edible Flowers
Hannah and Martin Lamb give us an insight into a busy time of year on their farm, when the pressure is on to get through the jobs list before the winter wet and cold arrives in earnest.
October always feels to us like a point where two seasons collide. We’ve had a busy week both finishing off the work of one year and starting the work of the next.
Edible flowers are our core retail offer – we sell to a range of professional bakers and cooks, as well as keen amateurs looking to create something special. We grow a selection of perennials and always reserve space for a late sowing of annuals in July, so we are able to keep a range of flowers available right up until the first frost. Right now we are carefully tending these late-season plants to give us striking and diverse flowers for our final orders of the year.
We had the last of our 2021 weddings on 9 October, for which we supplied both edible and cut flowers. Our final preparations fell at the same time that we would normally be starting to sow next year’s hardy annuals, so this week we have been picking up tasks which slipped down the to-do list from early October, as well as getting our ranunculus, daffodils, anemones and garlic planted. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that these will bring us good early harvests next year.
We farm on heavy clay, so we know that when the October rains come in force, it’s game over for us in terms of getting vehicles onto our land. The past week has seen us push to get everything where it needs to be on site: once the fields are properly wet, every trip across them will have to be on foot, and can be pretty hard going. We’ve just taken delivery of 30 tonnes of compost for our new plot, and this is now in the right place, ready for us to start building No Dig beds over the winter.
Although it’s been a hard week, it’s proved a really rewarding opportunity to look back at what we’ve achieved in 2021, as well as forward to the new possibilities that 2022 will bring.