Many folk I talk to say “I got into a lock down haze and days merged into weeks and then months. I look back and wonder what I actually did for all that time?”
Yes, I initially felt the same. But then I had a good look around my farm and, to my relief, I can see what I did for all those months. The sheep are the most obvious. They were scanned, lambed, sheared, crovected against fly strike and now the lambs are inoculated (initial and boosters) and ear tagged ready for weaning. Good job.
But my poly tunnel is also evidence of time well spent. This is only the second growing season in my lovely veggie space. Last year I made the horrible mistake everybody makes when they first acquire a poly. My enthusiasm knew no bounds and I totally over-planted. Mildew and other nasties soon ran amuck and my yields were not what they should have been. This year I made the conscious effort to apply space sobriety and my poly is looking wonderful. More importantly, it is bearing vast amounts of delicious fresh goodies which I am busily processing in the kitchen. Today saw the manufacture of a goodly amount of creamed spinach and a fantastic parsley pesto.
From a purely economic point of view, I know it’s cheaper to pop into the supermarket and buy a bottle of commercial pesto and a bag of frozen spinach. But that’s not the point. I realise you cannot put a financial value on the emotional and mental wellbeing, the satisfaction and delight of doing it all by myself, off my own land, using my own water, time effort and stamina. And then of course there is the taste of freshness which is hard to describe.
But best of all I have discovered that my poly tunnel is being looked after by a really sweet frog. He is quite shy and disappears behind a raised bed as soon as he become aware of my presence. But I know he is there and delightfully have not had a slug problem among my greens.
So bless my poly tunnel and all those who thrive within her!