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April update

Dear friends,

we're one month into our tenancy at Stonelynk Organics so here's a little update about all we've been up to!

To be perfectly honest, things have been far

from easy. Our business has been unlucky enough to be emerging during a really terrible spring weather-wise - the only consolation (if you can call it one!) is to know that all other growers in the country have been struggling with the cold and rain too! Cultivating wet water-logged soil can lead to a real mess, with clay particles sticking together irrevocably, so the only thing to be done is to wait...

Fortunately, we have had plenty of other preparatory work to do, from clearing brambles, to pruning fruit trees, to building equipment like tables and shelves. Once summer hits we'll be really busy turning over crops, so it has been good to have the time to get some of the infrastructure ready before-hand.

We have also had the chance to do plenty of seed-sowing! Despite the ground being and unprepared, we've started off dozens of crops in module trays, meaning we can keep them warm and suitably watered in a safe environment while their future home in the ground dries up. We have about 5000 plants now sitting in their little modules, many of which are getting very eager to move into a more roomy environment. All the more reason for the soil to dry quickly!

Meanwhile, we have felt very welcomed by our new neighbours in Fairlight. The lovely couple who run the Post Office and Stores have been very supportive. It has been a blessing to have the public footpath run past our garden, as we have been able to start building meaningful relationships with passers-by, one of which has given us a free fruit-cage - amazing! And this bank holiday Monday, we are due to give a little presentation of ourselves to the local gardening club which I am sure will again prove to be a fruitful opportunity to make friendships.

And so, this May, we very much hope to have the ground ready within the next few days, so we can start moving our little seedlings into more spacious territory. We look forward to meeting more lovely locals and continue spreading the word and gaining interest in our growing produce. And we very much anticipate the start of a long battle against the perennial weeds still lurking under our ploughed ground, each of which will have to be extracted by hand - slowly by surely - to ensure our permanent raised beds don't get engulfed!

It will be a much busier month than the last, I am sure. But if the sun keeps shining like this, it'll be delightful!

Battery Hill, Fairlight, Hastings, East Sussex, TN35 4EA

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