Monday, 18 July 2011

No rest for the wicked. I can’t remember such a long period when one deadline seems to be followed by another. The busy spring period is always bonkers with so many little deadlines to stick to in order to get all the orders out on time but as things start to quieten we expect to be able to relax slightly. Not a hope this year.

The nursery is filling with rooted cuttings and young plants for next season’s crop which we are trying to get potted as quickly as we can, looking good so far, a few new varieties but such a lot to get through.

The turbines are still stationary as we approach energisation day on Tuesday (19th) assuming we get a dry enough day for the engineers to connect the new supply without turning off the overhead cable. I hope they remember their rubber wellies. (You do have to keep an eye on the automatic spell check on this programme, I nearly missed one there). Then a separate team is due to install the meters before the turbine installers arrive to finish off their electrics and testing and finally the SSE inspection engineer tests everything for final commissioning on Thursday evening. Slight cock-up this week when the meter installer arrived unannounced to do his bit but couldn’t complete without a live supply. The supply installation manager had booked them to do the work, it must have slipped his mind that they needed it all live, I wonder if any supplies are connected in time? Hopefully he has rebooked them and it all goes smoothly and we will be generating by the end of the week. Cue a month of summer high pressure settled air. We still haven’t had the old poles removed that carried the old overhead cable, I checked and they had the job down as being complete, so hopefully I have resurrected it again, we’ll see.

As well as still sending out lots of orders again, we had the Woking Show to attend this week which added to the deadline list. As usual we were well prepared having planned what we were up to several hours in advance of leaving to set up on Tuesday. We are always full of good intentions to get proper signage done when we dismantle the previous show but before you know it there are only moments to go and it’s all too late. Luckily I had made some notes after the last one and so remembered that the stand space was slightly bigger than it used to be and I needed to take more stuff to fill it up. I’m sure all the info is in the exhibitors info pack but that sort of paperwork falls into the category of ‘please confirm you have read and accepted our terms and conditions before completing your order’. Anyway the weather was perfect and we had a really good day. I suspect that the organisers would have been a bit disappointed with attendance but we met lots of existing and potential customers and had plenty of positive responses. We got some excellent feedback from customers after showing them our trial tray insert that will hold a temporary water reservoir after watering to allow the compost to more efficiently absorb what it needs so reducing watering time. We hope to have these available next year after trials are completed.

Bacon roll for breakfast and a delicious lunch added to the day and on top of all that we were delighted to win the ‘Best Stand’ award. I proudly sported the winners rosette for the next couple of days despite the ‘Best of Breed’ overtones of the resulting appearance. I knew it hit the spot when Jamie on the nursery couldn’t stop laughing every time I stepped in view.

Excitement and tension are building on the farm with the imminent start of this year’s harvest. We have cleared out one barn ready for a crop and I should clear another this afternoon if the rain stops for long enough. Then we stand back and let them get on with it. The scale of kit involved these days is astonishing, it makes me feel quite inadequate on our little nursery, still size isn’t everything.

Eco News

I have managed to break into my You Tube account and put on a video of one of our turbines being lifted into position if anyone fancies a look.

Nature Notes

The first of the house martins have fledged and the skies are filling with more and more swooping chirping stars. I think there are 7 nests on the house and now a second late swallows nest has appeared on the nursery so by the end of the summer it will be mayhem. Can’t wait.

Have a good week, from all at Kirton Farm Nurseries

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