Currently every waking hour is dominated by the planting of 250,000 asparagus crowns, by hand (a job not for the faint hearted!). We are planting one year old male crowns from which we can take our first short harvest next year. Once established these new beds should last anywhere between 12 – 15 years.
These new crowns will take us up to a total of approx. 50 acres of asparagus. We have a great team of foreign pickers who arrive just for the asparagus season, before returning home to continue their studies. Our award for longstanding service has to go to Kalin, from Bulgaria, a Master of Wine; he is in his 12th season here at Wykham.
We sell approximately 20% of our asparagus through the farm shop & locally but the majority is sold through our cooperative grower’s group, based near Pershore. From there our asparagus makes it onto the shelves of Waitrose & Lidl.
We have finished lambing & all the ewes & lambs are now out enjoying the sunshine at Broughton Castle. We are just starting to turn out our cattle for the summer. It is a wonderful sight watching them gallop & buck down the field. (You just hope someone remembered to shut the gate at the bottom!)
We have had a disproportionately high number of twin calves this year which is fairly unusual, but reflects the cow’s fertility last summer. This is not ideal for the cows as it takes a lot of energy to produce enough milk for two greedy guzzlers! We will keep these cows in the yards for a bit longer so they can continue their high protein diets & we can keep an eye on the calves.
With Easter behind us we hope to have the first of our Spring Lamb in the shop by the beginning of May, hopefully this will coincide with the arrival of our Asparagus season; a perfect combination.
Stefan has been incredibly busy transforming the old greenhouse & polytunnel into a horticulturalist’s dream. He specializes in growing tomatoes, lettuces, squashes, unusual peppers & cucumbers amongst other things. He is also planting a selection of sweet peas, cosmos, dahlias & gladioli as we hope to have a range of cut flowers for sale in the summer months.
As you have probably noticed our plant selection is continuing to expand & with an assortment of unusual shrubs, annuals & herbaceous plants. If there is any specific plants that you would like us to get for you please ask. Hopefully the bedding plants will be ready shortly.
Finally congratulations to Sam, our butcher, on just becoming a father to Beau.
A great chance to come & meet us & have a tour around the farm. More details to follow