The first month of the year, and everything seems to stand still….. for a while.  The short days of mid-winter stop all growth in the field and tunnels as leafy crops sit out the lack of daylight hours, waiting, as we do, for the sun to rise earlier and set later. And then, amazingly it seems, it does! So now we can see that the year has turned, and spring will come again.

The crops in the field have been battered by winds and drowned in rain, but still we have plenty of roots to harvest : parsnips, beetroot, swede, some golden turnips and plenty of beautiful carrots. There have been final pickings of “early” sprouts, and the “late” sprouts are still producing, as are kales of various types. But we don’t like to pick those hard in this mid-winter month because they take longer to replace the leaves taken. But now the weather is getting kinder (maybe) and day length increasing, we will be picking more frequently again.

In the protection of the polly tunnels the leafy veggies have done better. The Oriental greens have grown well throughout the month, so delicious stir-frys and spiced wilted greens have enlivened our meals. The spinach growing indoors has been picked as well, replacing the hard-growing chard still standing out in the weather, looking battered and worse for wear by now  (….. but it will recover and give us more pickings in March we hope.) For six months of the year the tunnels supply the bulk of the leafy greens for COCA members, before being cleared and planted for the summer with the heat-demanding tomatoes, cucumbers and beans.

Caz has been ordering seeds and composts and renovating equipment, and some of the COCA supporters were preparing for our fund-raising Burns Night Supper. It was held in Solva Hall again this year and was much enjoyed by all, raising money for COCA and for the local village charity as well.