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9th October


At this time of the year the tunnels are starting to slow down, and we are replacing the empty tunnels with veg that will sit through the winter, and give us an early crop.

Just over a month ago we blocked of five thousand leafy cabbage, five thousand Chinese cabbage and two  winter lettuce batches of two and a half thousand each.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been planting broad beans in some tunnels that look like they need of a boost.

The broad beans do this fantastically, by putting nitrogen back into the soil and their stalks when rotovated back in give the soil great structure.

This week in one and a half tunnels we planted the leafy cabbage, and for a trial we planted one broad bean seed in between each cabbage, this is supposed to work wonders, but I have never done it before.                                                                                                                The reason we used one and a half tunnels is because we only planted the cabbage in every second hole so we could do the trial with the broad beans.

After we rotovate a tunnel we then go through with a roller that has three bands on it that leave three rows with holes punched in the soil, this makes planting very easy, just drop the plant in the hole then cover it with soil.

Out in the field the Brussel sprout crop is looking amazing, we gave up growing Brussels over the last couple of years, as we have a fight with the wildlife over who gets to eat them first.

The worst culprit is white butterfly to start with, then the pigeons if we get deep snow.

But last year they were expensive to buy in, so I grew them again, and planted them in between the kale, hopefully the hight of the kale will help keep the pigeons away from them.

Time will tell.

With winter time on its way, it is usually the time of the year we get quieter in the field and tunnels, and without me knowing, my brain starts thinking of what I can build.

Well, I must have been dreaming about compost.

We use around six tonne a year, to bring on our plants, and is getting expensive.

We do compost our waste, and through the year it does mount up.

Fine for putting in the tunnels, but for using as blocking compost it needs to be fine graded.

So, I am thinking of building some huge cone shaped containers, with fine mesh at the bottom.

The mesh at the bottom will let the liquid seep through and into a container, this I will be able to feed through the irrigation instead of needing to buy seaweed.

The biggest problem is getting the remaining compost to a fine enough grade.

Inside the cylinders, I can have a vertical auger that I could attach to the tractor PTO, this I could hitch up and every couple of weeks turn the auger which will mix the compost.

But I need to figure out how to get the compost ground down, from the course grate it is in, with lumpy bits through it, to a nice fine blocking compost.

I need to build something like a huge food blender.

I am pretty sure I could buy one for thousands of pounds, but it would be much more rewarding making one.

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