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We were shrouded in a blanket of snow at the end of January; I loved the silence and the purity of the virgin snow; then suddenly it thawed and was gone until the next time...Axbridge Farmer’s Market was cancelled due to being on the other side of the Mendips but that was the only one! The first Frome Independent Market of 2019 will be taking place on Sunday 3 March. This is a market I cover and it is always a very busy market bringing the centre of Frome alive again after 2 months off! You will find our stall by the fountain!
Team Fussels also got together for our post-Christmas meal and this year we went to Lotte’s at Badcox. We had an excellent evening with amazing food, catching up with our Market and Show Staff. It was an opportunity to thank them for all they do for us throughout the year. It was also our chance to say farewell to Richard and thank him for his time and commitment to Fussels over the last 6, or so years.
Donald joined our team in January, taking over from Richard, delivering on Monday and Tuesdays. For the rest of the week he ‘dons’ his Sales hat! He is already introducing new customers and has a number of appointments booked. Donald is a keen beekeeper, and has been for 15 years. He is a member of Frome Beekeepers’ Group. Bees are very important to us at Fussels as they are necessary pollinators for our oilseed rape. Do come and join us on one of our informative ‘Blooming Tours’ the next one is on Thursday 25th April 2019, giving you an insight into how we grow, press and bottle our award winning Rapeseed Oil!
On the Farm...UPDATE: Last month we reported on the problem we were having with Larvae of the Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle …laid in the summer/autumn by the beetle which has been eating and growing in the stems of our rapeseed plants!!! In an attempt to reduce this problem we were advised by our Agronomist to graze sheep in our rapeseed fields (known as ‘grazing off’) as an attempt to reduce the damage the larvae are doing to the plants. This damage is unseen until you pull up the plant and slit it open; the damage from the munching larvae is very apparent! But since then, Andy tells me we have had a breakthrough; that being dead larvae! So, the sheep will not be going in now, as the problem appears to be at least partially resolved. The yield will be unknown but we will wait and see.
You may have noticed our neatly cut hedges; Shaun, our Farm Manager/Foreman has been out with the ‘hedge cutter’. Hedge cutting is a real skill; it often requires early starts so that we cause minimum traffic disruption. Now the weather has warmed up, the wheat and oilseed rape will be waking up and growing apace. The fields of crops will look so different in a couple of weeks. The frost and snow have taken care of the charlock which is now dying. Shaun is currently preparing our fields ready for drilling spring oats. You will have noticed that some of our fields have no crops in at present but these are just resting, awaiting spring oats which Shaun will plant around the second week in March. Later on maize will follow the stubble turnips. Look out for the tractor with the plough; I love seeing the rich freshly turned soil and now I understand the expertise required in ploughing a straight furrow!
Above: Dead Larvae Flea Beetle (Left) - Dying Charlock (Right)
Tom’s sheep have arrived in the stubble turnips and are happily munching their way through the tops and turnips. Ideally, we need them to get feasting! They love gathering around the tree; they are frolicking about and having fun!
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Lizzy Etheridge - Production | Sales | Events | Hospitality