Out Standing in our Field

Organic practices at Canara Farm

Hi and welcome to the latest blog from our very special market garden, at Canara Farm, Mylor. We hope you enjoyed our previous feature about scallions and spring onions at the farm. Today Pete will be talking about our no-dig mission for the polytunnels.

Dessert apple trees and the polytunnels

” We are on a big compost mission more than usual here at the farm because we have made plans to create a no-dig production in our poly tunnels. Operating as ‘no-dig’ means that rather than digging up and replacing our soil, fresh layers of nutritional compost is laid over the existing soil for natural decomposing and to allow the eco-system to flourish undisturbed. ”

Three stages of compost heaps

” To achieve this we require a lot of wood chips for the pathways, large amounts of well-rotted manure and a lot of cardboard to put down as a base layer. The mycelial networks will run into the new wood chipping pathways and this will help to distribute nutrients into the bio-intensive no-dig system and I’m very excited about this. ”

Young tomato plants in one of the polytunnels

” We do plant through black plastic mulch at the moment which covers the floor of our tunnels. We use this to prevent weed growth, maintain good moisture in the roots and to help warm the soil. This all contributes to our positive crop growth results.

The soil is warmed considerably during the hot days and the mulch acts as a heat store for the cold nights. I previously used a ground cover for our plants but not only was it a more expensive material it also did not retain as much moisture. ”

One tomato plant growning through the mulch

” A UK Government Farm Plastic Scheme was launched in November 2019 which was great news for us. The mulch we use for our crops is recycled in Hayle by a farm plastic recycling specialist.

It’s important that we are thinking about the wider holistic systems around our bio-intensive production. We will be starting our no-dig mission in the polytunnels next year and look forward to what the future will bring. ”

One tomato plant growning through the mulch

We hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the organic practices at the farm and we look forward to sharing more with you. Please contact the team if you would like to view the full Canara Farm produce availability. See you soon.