Monday 29th June, 2009
For the benefit of our Menorcan correspondent, Jemima taking her offspring for their first dip! No pictures of machines as they are stood for a day or two. The Met Office has issued a weather warning for heatwave conditions later in the week, so it is vital that we start up again on the front foot, and try not to get behind. That is easier said than done with the potential temperatures that are forecast. We will therefore start tomorrow evening, to hopefully remain in front. I do think that once we start again that will be it, no looking back."
Saturday 27th June, 2009
Something we are not used to, a hill! Makes a change from the flat fenland. Harvesting Twinkle at Scrafield brings us to the end of our first earlies. There will now be a gap of a few days before we start again on 450 acres in the Midville and Friskney area. So far machines and factories have performed well, as has the "team". Whilst a break at the weekend is good, we all feel that now we are in to the crop, we want to carry on full steam ahead. However if the crop is not ready we cannot harvest. Given that there have been highish temperatures this week the peas are maturing at a slow rate. This may well be due to the lack of moisture. Dare I say it, a good rain would do them all good. On the other side of the coin, they are very good harvesting conditions currently.
Wednesday 24th June, 2009
The machines are now frimly planted on Lincoln Heath in dry and sunny conditions. We took the weekend off to allow them to come on and struck in again on Sunday evening at 10pm. After a week or so you begin to get a feel of yields in general, and it has to be said that it looks as though peas this year will not yield as well as last year. When we get down on to the silts they will be too much straw and not enough pods. Not good for yield. Beyond there the next block has been in flower far too long , which is generally not a good sign. It looks as though I am sounding a bit pessimistic, not so. Just being a realist! On the home front, not to be outdone, our second duck has produced 11 chicks. So the maternity wing at home is a bit full now!
Thursday 18th June, 2009
A slight distraction from the pea harvest. Having nursed her eggs for the last five weeks, Jemima finally presented her young to the world last night. Four boys and two girls. Mother and babies are doing well. She will now have to teach them to swim! The harvest continues in the Sleaford area, which we shall clear up on friday. It's a bit early to call on yields yet, but, I'm not getting too excited. When you open up the pods, not all the peas have formed. From Sleaford we will move up to Lincoln Heath, which are now reading and moving steadily. The last two cooler days have slowed things down.
Monday 15th June, 2009
Well we are away for the 2009 campaign! We started in brilliant sunshine at Wilsford in some Twinkle and Prelado, but after just a few hours the picture shows what happened. A storm which threw down over an inch of rain in a little more than an hour. Added to this hailstones bigger than peas!! The photograph shows them bouncing on the car bonnet. Apart from that a good start. Machines, factory and men all slotted together well and we had a good days production. Let's hope that we have now seen the last of this weather. No doubt it's been sunny in Menorca!
Thursday 4th June, 2009
The recent warm spell has moved things on a lot. I was able to eat my first peas of the year today. The pods are blown, and they are now filling. Land at Sudbrooke and Wilsford will be sampled early next week. These readings will give us a guide as to when to start harvesting, either late next week or early the following week. It all depends on the weather! One slight complication may be, that I have arranged for the Boys to come in on 15th June! So fingers crossed we start the next day, and do not need to start before!
Monday 1st June, 2009
The rains of the last two weeks have done a lot of good, and in some cases have saved crops that otherwise would have struggled. The picture shows classic erratic emergence, not too bad but obviously not a full crop. Crops generally have grown a lot in the last few days with moisture under them and plenty of heat. The first moths have been caught so control measures will be taken to avoid any crop contamination. The "team" will get together in two weeks time, and it has been suggested that a "weigh-in" should take place before the season! Last year a number of the boys came down a trouser size or two, and they think that we need scientific proof that, harvesting peas can be used as part of weight loss programme!