Thursday was a really great volunteer day with a small army of helpers out there on the field. It wasn’t a specially organised day, just a regular Thursday volunteer day with a few extra rays of golden sunshine. This is the one of the best things about Burscough Community Farm, a whole bunch of us of all different ages and backgrounds getting together in this wonderful outdoor setting to grow food together.
We all gain different things from this. Some are there to learn, some for companionship, some for exercise and some just to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on their back. We all benefit from these things, all ages, all abilities, there are jobs for everyone and time for a chat.
Crops are starting to sprout up now and the Garlic is looking particularly good with double the crop that we had last year. We could do with a dose of our current drought weather in July when we come to harvest it.
Our New Loo
The new compost toilet that sits alongside the barn (much more convenient) has had a lick of paint and some new floor covering courtesy of ‘handy’ Terry Lake.
The Dragon Breathes
Getting direct sown crops off to a good start means that you have to try and eliminate the competition from weeds. One of the best ways that I have found to do this ‘organically’ is to use the flame weeder to burn the tiny weed seedlings off before the crop shoots emerge.
A short pass with the flame doesn’t actually burn the weeds, it just fractures cells within their structure which causes them to die off within 24 hours. Such a short exposure from intense heat does very little to harm the soil, barely penetrating a millimetre below the surface.
Because it burns Paraffin, getting the flame weeder to light is an art in itself. A small fire lit in the nozzle must be burned first to start the paraffin to heat up and vapourize. The burner is then pumped up so the vapour is forced out under pressure giving a roaring 4000 degree Celsius flame. It isn’t for the timid and took quite a few goes to perfect. This tool needs treating with respect like any pet dragon.