Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

Time to grow your own to avoid horse meat

Family Farm Shop[/caption]The recent horse meat scandal has made most people realise that the only food you can really trust is local or home grown. Local because the producer will tell the truth about the food they have grown, because their local reputation is at stake. And home grown because you have watched it grow and waited patiently for that, just right, day when you can proudly show the family the fruits of your labour.

So now is the time to get organised for this year’s crops, and even make money on any excess produce through BigBarn’s Crop for The Shop scheme.

Most green fingered veggie growers will already have their veggie patch dug over with rotted down compost adding nutrients to the soil. They will have seed trays in the green house, or window sill, sprouting tiny plants ready to plant out after the last frost has gone.home_bg_ukAs an amateur grower my seed trays are sprouting mixed lettuce, beetroot, coriander and chard and getting a bit spindly on the floor of my office as they search for the sun.

This year I have opted to make life a bit easier by using Growrings, a ‘cheats’, raised bed. The rings arrived in the post as a flat pack and assembled by simply clicking together. I put some well rotted compost at the bottom and added some soil improver that was free from my local recycling depot then adding good fertile bought compost on top. This means I have a sterile, weed free soil to grow my veggies and can harvest without bending my back so far.
en_GBI have also opted for a green house Growring to help my plants get a head start and protect them from frost and pests. I also have some Poshcloches on my weed infested veggie patch to encourage some early asparagus and protect my chard from rabbits.

Now I just have to wait and hope the last frost is early this year, unlike 2012 when most of by beans were killed.

The BigBarn local food map

The BigBarn local food map

I also hope that my crops will be so successful that I will be able to sell some through a local ‘Crop for the shop‘ shop. To find them look for a rosette on icons on our local food map.

If anyone has some top tips to share please add them below. My tips are:

You can see a video and buy Growrings in our MarketPlace by clicking here. And Posh Cloches here;

For old, unusual, taste not shelf life, varieties of seeds here

And to learn about veg growing try You Tube videos