A COMMUNITY farm has seen success with its first ever crop of vegetables.
Stirley Community Farm, in Newsome below Castle Hill, have harvested potatoes, carrots, cabbage, broccoli and tomatoes from vegetable training beds this year.
The vegetables were grown from an assortment of organic and bargain seeds sown directly into the soil. This makes the plants more hardy and resilient to pests and is also a cheap and easy way to grow.
Joanna Richards, and officer from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust which is supporting the farm, said: “The stars of this year’s harvest have been the brassica family – including mustard – which have loved our naturally alkaline soil.
“Cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers have been magnificent and we look forward to winter crops of stunning red cabbage and winter-hardy kale.
“Our tomatoes are yet to ripen, but the plants have thrived despite being outdoors. We grew tomato varieties Koralik and Matina – two eastern European tomatoes ideal for a short, cool growing season.”
There were over eight varieties of potatoes chosen to spread the risk of disease and pests which favour the soil.
Joanna said: “With threats of carrot fly and many warnings from locals that we would struggle to grow good, healthy carrots our crop has been superb, sweet, smooth and unblemished – the carrot fly has not found us yet.
“Whereas a big hit with children – both young and old – were the purple podded peas which coloured our tongues purple.
“As winter draws in and the threat of frost looms we will be covering these salads with protective fleece, but also looking forward to trying our huge parsnips which won’t be ready until they have been frosted.
“Our Tuesday volunteers and Thursday gardening club are smothering the empty beds with a dwindling pile of rotted cow manure left over from the last tenants, gearing us up for next spring’s growing season – we can’t wait.”