It felt like winter came to COCA a little early this year, with sharp cold weather, the occasional frost, and even the odd bit of hail right from the start of November. The days may have been getting shorter, but the work carried on of course. In November we were joined by a new woofer, Magdalena, who stayed at COCA for two weeks, who, along with our long term volunteer Agnès, and of course our grower Caz, helped to get everything well and truly prepared for the winter ahead.
Out in the field, the now empty seed beds were covered with plastic to stop the weed growth over the winter, and the irrigation pipes stoppered and drained to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. The tool shed has been tidied and reorganised ready for spring, next years early crops like the chard and kale were weeded and manured, to give them the best chance in the harshest months, and our current crop of chard were covered with fleece to protect them from the wind.
In the polytunnels, the mammoth undertaking to transplant all the salads for winter was finally completed. Now a variety of oriental leaves will be ready for the Christmas harvest onwards, a very welcome supply of fresh, flavourful summery green leaves. The park choi was also successfully transplanted, as was the next batch of swiss chard, and all have had leaky hose laid out to irrigate them over the winter.
And not to mention, of course, the usual weekly harvest! Our swiss chard took a bit of a battering in the big storm toward the end of the month, but nonetheless our boxes have still been full of potatoes, beautifully sweet carrots, onions, kale, brussel sprouts, what chard was left, and our bumper crop of leeks.
Finally, November saw COCA saying a huge thank you and farewell to Agnès, our EVS volunteer who has been with us for ten months. Agnès is headed back to France, with the intention of becoming a grower herself. The amount of work she has put in has been phenomenal, and truly invaluable, and she will be missed. Thank you Agnès!