The Hungry Gap

Florence (one of our pet rescue pigs) decided to have a day of breakouts today, she gets a little restless sometimes, even with the 1.5 acres of forestry she calls home. Personally, I don’t think she has it that bad and George her compatriot rarely goes on these adventurous little trips.

But true to her nature Florence arrived up into our packing shed today demanding more food (she gets fed quite a bit) and again I think she was being a little unreasonable and has little to grumble about. But anyway, that is life sometimes I suppose.

It’s funny how the unexpected can make you take things a little more lightly, force you to stop your routine ruminations, force you to stop what you are doing and deal with the occurrence at hand.

Well today in the midst of pressure to get carrots and parsnips sown and the onions planted with the threat of rain on the horizon, we were forced to stop our work and go and bring Florence back to her forest home. 

There are I guess two ways to look at this, an unwelcome interruption that meant more pressure to get the sowing done on time, or a welcome break that could be enjoyed. My innate sense of grumpiness was edging towards the former, but thankfully Florence is just too funny, and I went with the latter. 

It made us stop and smell the newly cultivated soil, see the flowers and bees and all the other good stuff that was happening and the experience as a result was completely different. 

Not all interruptions can be dealt with in such a philosophical manner, some you just need to throw out a few choice expletives have a bit of a tantrum and move on, this was the case with our planter this week. 

It is temperamental old and cranky and every year there is a requirement to find mutual common ground between farmer and machine, this year that ground has been hard to find and has led to moments of promising our faithful machine that its days are truly numbered. (Of course, I didn’t really mean it, all was said in the heat of the moment!)

Nevertheless, if farming has thought me anything and it teaches a lot, is that perseverance is an absolute requirement to succeed no matter what happens. 

We have been very busy planting and sowing, for the last number of weeks we have been planting kale, cabbage, Romanesco, broccoli, lettuce, and celery.  We have been sowing, salad, beetroot, spinach, chard, carrots, and parsnips, not to mention the 1400 tomato plants that are soaking up so much time at present. 

We are harvesting too, but the old crops are finishing, and the new crops are coming from the tunnels, all the field veg is in the early stages, and as a result there is a lack of certain Irish crops, this period is called ‘the hungry gap’.  

There is no way to rush nature, you need to have patience and get your timings right, take good care of your crops and the nature around as the crops grow, and the harvest will come.

So, we work, we wait, and we harvest.


Thanks to the guys at sketchplanations for the schematic