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May 8 if I were a doctor, I’d be on strike


From thermals to shorts in the space of less than a week. But this weather throws up problems of its own, with so much to do, which job takes priority? Do you remember pre-Country File, its predecessor on BBC1 on a Sunday morning aimed at farmers, with the farming weather for the week just before noon, when you could plan your week ahead? Now we have to wait until nearly 8 pm to know if it going to be more of the same.
We have been crawling under the lettuce fleeces, as you do, it’s not going to be an all guns blazing start to the season, but there’ll certainly be some outdoor lettuce ready this week.
We have the makings of a good team this year, Andriej who defected for the winter is back with us, there is young Monika who is used to hoeing in the villages of Lithuania, but more to the point actually enjoys it and Andzejs Jankovskis, 2008 Latvian rally champion, ace on the back of the brush weeder.
Clyde was called out to the pump house alarm at 2 a.m. one morning after power harrowing until 9 the night before and needing to be up again at 5.30 to meet Lawrence from the council holding, who was giving us a day tractoring. I was in deepest trouble for having my phone switched off. Lesson learned, I am now effectively on call 24/7. If I was a doctor, I’d be on strike! Yesterday two swallows set off the mower shed alarm, it was a rude early awakening for a Saturday, but still – there were lettuces to be cut!
I had a serious case of deja vue this week when it was finally brought to my attention that the plant raiser had sown no celery seed for the whole of April and no one at the plant raisers end nor the seed company that had been unable to supply the seed, had thought it necessary to mention it. But for a catalogue of failings, the problem could have been flagged up much earlier. Elsoms Seeds came up trumps and quickly sourced 30K from Holland, which arrived yesterday, but for the second time we have a massive, costly gap in our continuity sowings through no fault of our own.
Pam, Clyde and Dicken and Strawberry Fields team 2016


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