Tag Archives: growing

Sowing Seeds – it’s a numbers game


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We have been very busy sowing seeds these past couple of weeks and this will continue through the coming months. We have lettuce (4 varieties), spring onions (2 varieties), beetroot, carrots, peas, beans, kohl rabi (2 varieties), tomato (3 varieties) and cabbage so far.

Just today we sowed 3201 modules which are currently in the glass house. This is quite a daunting number as they will all need planting out! Last year we did plant 2500 leeks in one work morning so maybe it is not so daunting? This year I am considering sowing 12,000 leeks in total, probably mid march, these will fill 6 beds. They will be planted out in end of May/early June. I might have some tricks up my sleeve for speeding up the process, and I’d like to think we will get 6000 planted in a work morning.

In total last year we planted over 100 different varieties (and it’s likely to be more this year), this seems an extraordinary amount to me and I’m not sure how I juggle it all. There is rarely time to write more than the basics, (what, where, when) in the record book and digitising it all has only just happened now at the end of the winter. I guess it is similar to a teacher getting to know a 100 kids, spread across several classes, all with different personalities and abilities?! I have an advantage as new vegetables are introduced over a period of time in the growing year! (Vegetables don’t answer back either but they do sulk if they don’t get what they want)

Vegetables also graduate at different times throughout the year, and this is where the real fun comes in, trying to ensure a continuous, even supply of ‘ready’ veg. This is easiest in the summer and autumn, harder in winter, and very difficult in spring.  As we are in our first year it won’t be long before we are in the most challenging time with regard harvesting since we produced our first share last June. I would be a fool to try and predict the success of the future growing year but I can say that as a community we are much better placed to make the most of the 2013 growing season.

Here’s to fat, juicy, ripe, succulent indoor tomatoes!


Featured Vegetable:

Leek Bandit:

We planted 2000 bandits, planning on doubling this in 2013. It is a winter variety which can be harvested through to April, performs well in bad and cold weather conditions and is resistant to bolting (starting to flower). Leek bandit was in your share this week (the previous leeks were all Tadorna).

2012 varieties (not all successful)

Lettuce Suzan
Lettuce Brund’hiver
Lettuce Brighton
Lettuce Little Gem
Lettuce Xanadu
Lettuce Roxy
Lettuce Kamalia
Lettuce Noisette
Beetroot Jannis
Beetroot boro
Beetroot Stourman
chard Rainbow Chard
chard canary
parsley moss curled
turnip white globe
rocket esmee
rocket salad
radish rudolph
radish celesta
radish black spanish
radish rosa
broad beans hangdown green
broad beans express elenora
broad beans witkeim
courgette cocozelle
courgette goldrush
squash butternut
squash green hokkaido
squash fictor
squash jack o lantern
squash crown prince
runner beans enorma
runner beans scarlet emporer
french beans aiguillon
dwarf french bean barlotta
sweetcorn golden bantom
french beans helda
cabbage winter green
calabrese belstar
kohl rabi azur star
red cabbage marnerlot
red cabbage rodynada
cabbage lagerweiss
purple sprouting early
brussel sprouts nautic
brussel sprouts doric
brocolli sante
calabrese veronika
kale ripdor
cauliflower medallion
cauliflower snowball
cabbage deadon
savoy grufewi
chicory grumola verde
chicory pallo rossa
endive nuance
endive markant
corn salad granon

kohl rabi noriko

swede helenor
potato maris bard
potato milva
potato toluca
potato romano
celeriac ibis
fennel fino
fennel florence
parsnips tender and true
parsnips halblange white
carrots nantes
carrots berlicum
carrots chantenay red cored
carrots autumn king
carrots yellowstone
carrots jeanette
celery canalside
leeks bandit
leeks tadorna
leeks giant winter
garlic flavor
onions centurian
onions red baron
spring onion white lisbon
spring onion parade
gm herbal drought resistant ley
gm ryegrass/vetch
gm vetch
field beans existing
tomato koralik
tomato gardeners delight
tomato mamande
cucumber picolino
cucumber stix
cucumber agnes
cucumber muncher
cucumber burpless tasty
aubergine black prince
Peppers Bendigo
Peppers Fiesta
chilli ring of fire
basil genovuse
coriander cilantro
oregano existing
parsley existing
kale red russian
nasursains existing
chinese cabbage kaboko
chinese cabbage granat
oriental giant red mustard
oriental mizuna
oriental pak choi
oriental tai sai
corn salad dorlando
claytonia winter purslane


Our First Members’ Meeting

So, it’s been over twelve months since the Transition Coventry meeting when we first discussed the idea of setting up a community farm at Garden Organic. Since then we’ve formed a steering team, had three launch meetings, employed a grower, sown seeds, harvested vegetables, met hundreds of fantastic people and lots more besides! It has been a fantastic year and we are so grateful to absolutely everyone who has helped us get to where we are today.

To celebrate our achievements and find out what our members think of what we are doing, we held our very first members’ meeting on 30th January at Queen’s Road Baptist Church in Coventry.

Over thirty members of the farm came along and heard about growing, membership, finance, marketing, our website, social events and plans for the social area. There was lots of useful feedback and ideas from the surveys we handed out and the questions posed to members in the break. The meeting finished with a question and answer session and, finally, a celebratory drink in the pub!

Celebrating our first members' meeting

Thanks to everyone for coming along and making the evening a success.  We are working through all of the ideas and suggestions to look for ways to implement them.

Here are links to the  documents from the evening, and the responses we received:

Main presentation

Social area presentation


Feedback from questionnaires