Sunday 26th July, 2009
My how they have grown. The ducklings are now five weeks old and growing rapidly. They will soon be as big as their mother. We are 83% of the way through the harvest, so at the end of next week we will be close to the finishing line. Not heard much from our Menorcan division lately. The holiday season must be going well there.
Friday 24th July, 2009
As with most pea groups students are employed during the season. We have three students who have been coming for three years now. Having people work for you who are in education you would think that the basics would still be there. In other words, if what you are driving is 2.5 mts wide, you will not get through a gap that is 2.4 mts wide! Fortunately, as the picture shows, it was only the trailer tyre that brushed the car. Another few mm and it would be going to the body shop. We actually had saturday night off, the first for nearly five weeks. Next week shoyld see the late crops begin to come at us. The end is in sight!
Sunday 19th July, 2009
The sun sets on another busy and at times frustrating week. We had a very hectic week, covered a lot of ground and delivered a lot of peas, but still we ended up 24 hours behind the crop. This meant that we had to bypass some more peas yesterday. In the current economic climate there is treemendous pressure to ensure that when you work out your drilling programme, you maximise the machines and the factory space. What this means is that throughout the season everything is stretched to the limit, so the slightest thing that goes wrong, factory breakdown, viner breakdown, does have an impact. C'est la vie!".
Friday 17th July, 2009
After the last few days it's pleasing to see all three machines going together in Holbeach Marsh. We have gone down there for 180 acres so two days should see it. The pressure of crop still remains, so full steam ahead!
Friday 17th July, 2009
This morning was a reminder of 2007. Two huge storms passed through the day, and whilst the land was able to absord most of the water the top was very wet. Anyway the rain did not delay our progress and we have now completed the Moulton Fen/Whaplode Drove area, and will now move up to Cowbit. More violent storms are forecast so it could be a wet night. When it does rain heavily it is noticeable that our fuel consumption goes up dramatically.
Thursday 16th July, 2009
Spoke too soon! No 1 had a bit of shake, rattle and roll last night. The up shot of it all is a new beater, which you can see being replaced. The service that we get from PMC is second to none. They responded quickly and sent Walter, Dave and Mark out to remidy the problem. Ten hours later it was up and running. The viners have moved back to Moulton Fen, and from there will go down to Crowland, Tounge End and Twenty, before dropping in to Morton Fen on their way back to the Boston to harvest the Serge.
Sunday 12th July, 2009
Not what you want on a sunday lunchtime, burst pipe and 180 litres of expensive oil on the road. It took place outside a local pub. Everyone was pretty understanding, but as ever it is all time and money. As someone said, "if you don't use them they don't breakdown". Once the local authorities had made their mind up as to who would clean up, we were on our way in a few hours. Full marks to Kirton Fire Station and PMC for their speedy responses. We have our AGM in October, and we shall now be holding it in the public house that was affected by this spillage.
Saturday 11th July, 2009
It has taken all week for the cooler temperatures to slow down the crop as it reaches maturity. Not to say that we are not under pressure. The Boys have had some big days, with yesterdays dayshift harvesting over 200 tonnes of fresh peas. That's 1,000,000,000 peas! They are in a variety called Biktop, which as you can see is clean and yielding well. I should point out that it does belong to my chairman who does lead by example. From the Frampton area we will make our way to Spalding, Pinchbeck, Holbeach Marsh and the Moulton area. So another busy week ahead.
Thursday 9th July, 2009
I know it's difficult to believe but these are organic peas! Unlike previous years we have not put these in our programme as such, but drilled them when conditions were just right for them. It seems to have paid off. They were completed yesterday and will now adorn the plates of Waitrose shoppers. All the machines are now back together, which makes the management of the operation easier. When you split them up the logistics of getting water and fuel to them is a pain, and a lot of hours on the road. Organics rightly command a premium for the extra work that goes into the crop, and also that we have to leave wherever we are and go and harvest them when they are ready.
Friday 3rd July, 2009
Driver training today! Mark Simmonds, our local MP paid a visit to the viners at Midville. With agriculture being so important to the local economy Mark does like to be kept informed of the problems that we face as an industry. He showed a keen interest in how the machine worked, and once he had got the basics we thought he should be put to the test. I can report no bung ups or breakdowns, however his opening breed was not as straight as the experts.
Thursday 2nd July, 2009
Hot, hot,hot! The heat has now built up to such an extent that the crop is picking up speed and racing to maturity. We are still in control but the next five days will be difficult, especially if we get some rain, which is forecast tomorrow. The viners are now harvesting a good crop of Premio in the marsh at Friskney. As it did last year, Premio has matured on time, and produced a very good sample. Having had breaks over the last two wekends, this one will be busy.