What a difference a year makes!
The blossom is coming out, the daffodils are in full bloom and for the most part, it's been a gorgeous March! Hard to believe that about this time last year, we were ankle deep in snow and that the month was the second coldest for over a century.
As farmers, we are very much at the whim of the weather but already, forecasters are predicting another record - this time, for the hottest summer ever. Our gut instinct (and who can blame us?) is, 'we'll believe it when we see it!', but the signs are that we're already on track for a bumper year. Our strawberries have been planted and not only are we anticipating the earliest harvest ever, but also the biggest, having planted double the amount of crops this year. And, if the sunny weather we're currently experiencing continues, our asparagus crop may be ready even before the end of April.
One of the loveliest aspects to this time of the year is 'anticipation'; putting the hard work in now to enjoy the fruits of labour in the coming months. With that in mind, we're expanding our gardening range in the Farm Shop to include Fothergill's vegetable seeds and plant and flower seeds from expert horticulturalist, (not to mention author and presenter) Sarah Raven. She, too, is a big fan of this time of year, saying, "at last, you can get going on your veg - begin sowing your fruiting half-hardy veg under cover, as well as perennials and potatoes." For flowers, she also recommends starting sowing half-hardy annuals now, one the threat of frost has disappeared.
You'll also have noticed that we've expanded our range of potted plants, cut flowers and, in time for Mother's Day, flower baskets.
In the week of the vernal equinox and with the clocks to go forward this coming weekend, Spring has most definitely sprung!