John Walton: Staff get down to business while I’m forced to stay longer in Spain

AT this time I feel somewhat of a fraud as I am writing about what is going on at home while being stranded in Spain, unable to return because of the volcano fiasco.

We were due to fly last Saturday (April 17), which was cancelled and the earliest we could rebook was Sunday, April 25. Yet another week of sun, sand and sea and whatever else you can think of.

Seeing the chaos something like this causes brings home how much the world relies on airspace and air freight. Now that people are finding alternatives during the crisis, it might urge us all to take a large step back and re-assess world logistics.

Another good thing to come from this is, hopefully, people will increase their awareness of local produce and its importance to the economy.

It is at times like this you realise the importance of good, reliable, staff who are coping admirably with so much going on, and managing to put my mind at rest. So a huge thank you to you all, especially my Dad, who must wonder why he, as the semi-retired one, is stuck in England and I’m in Spain.

My sources at home tell me that cows are on their way outside with grass starting to make a move. A slow one maybe, but a step in the right direction. It is the first time I haven’t been there when the shed doors open, so hopefully when, or if, I do get back they should be settled.

On the arable side all the crops have been Einbocked – a term used for the process of weeding the crops. After two weeks of dry weather the conditions were perfect and, for the first time in years, there was a cloud of dust behind on the first pass. The crops look extremely well with very little weed after upping the seed rate in the autumn to give more cover and therefore more challenge to the weeds. It looks like the extra expense has paid off.

On the veg side, the potatoes are in and most of the ground is ready for planting, beans have gone in and we’re just waiting for raised plants to get to transplant strength.

I have just heard a dinghy has just been launched into the Manchester Ship Canal to come and pick us up. Next time I write, maybe I will be home, or still floating around the Med.

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