Archive for August, 2012

August 15, 2012

News from the Hill: Challenges and opportunities for 2012 and beyond!

Read on for the latest report from the Hill and how the Board is proposing Sims Hill collectively responds to the current climactic challenges at our next open members’ meeting on 25 September. We need everyone there to help us make Sims Hill one of the most creative and resilient CSAs in the UK.

What is happening on the Hill?

As you know it has been very wet now since April (bar two short sunny interludes). Indeed, it was the wettest June on record (159 years) and one of the wettest springs on record. It is not just rain, from April through mid-July there was precious little sun and warmth. To add to this it has been perfect conditions for slugs; they are at pretty unknown population levels and voraciousness.

The cumulative effective of these conditions is bad news for vegetable growing. Growers with 20-30-40 years experience are saying that this is the worst year they can remember. Iain Tolhurst, one of the most respected organic growers in the country, recently wrote an email saying:
“…this season I am close to admitting defeat in a way that I have never felt before, (actually I am sure I have many times before but have fortunately forgotten the occasions) The weather of course as you all know, well those of you in the south that is, has been an absolute nightmare since the end of March. Never in all my years, have we had to endure such a long period of almost continual rain at this time of year, for 15 weeks it has been relentlessly wet. I have rainfall records going back 23 years and this is the worst so far. Occasionally there have been a few odd days when it just starts to dry out enough to contemplate some weed control or to re-drill some slug destroyed crops.

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