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Virtual farm tour

Unlike many other box schemes, we are a working farm endeavouring to produce as much of the contents of your box as we can. This section of the site is intended to give you a picture of the farm at work, what we do and what we grow. We are currently picking the best photographs to put on the site, so please keep checking back.

Polytunnels looking south
Here you can see the main polytunnels. The view is to the south and the Lammermuir hills. The farm is approximately 400 feet above sea level.

The original smallholding house
The original house was built in the 1930s for ex-servicemen. In fact most of the area was owned by the ministry of defence until relatively recently.

Fleece on crops
Fleece is used to warm the soil in the early spring both prior to planting and afterwards to protect the crops from frost.

Sowing seeds
For sowing many seeds, especially small seeds such as lettuce seeds, we use this Howick seeder which runs off the compressor. It is very noisy. The seeds are sown into the compost filled plug trays and then taken to the propogation polytunnel. Many seeds are sown by hand into pots, and others are directly sown into the ground.

Propagation tunnel
One of our smaller tunnels is used exclusively for germination/propagation in the early spring. When these plants are big enough, they will be planted out.

Planting leeks
This is our 55hp New Holland tractor. Attached to the back is the planter. Attached to the planter are four staff members. Despite appearances, this is a very labour intensive and often slow job, with much fine tuning required to get it right. In fact, last year, we resorted to a more primitive, far less comfortable and yet strangely more reliable method.

Hand planted lettuce seedlings
Virtually all our planting is done manually. These lettuces have been planted by hand. The mypex on the paths between the beds help keep weeds down.

We have a total of four tunnels, which enable us to extend the season, providing local produce that would otherwise be unavailable, and more produce in summer. They protect the crops from wind and increase the temperature considerably. Furthermore the tunnels have structural members called "crop bars" from which we can run tomatoes, beans, cucumbers etc.

Hand weeding
Almost all our crop maintenance is done by hand, and hand weeding is an essential element. In spite of the sinking feeling that many novices get when staring into the distance to the end of a bed they have to weed, many staff claim it is one of the most rewarding jobs. The effects of weeding a crop are noticeable within a very short space of time.

Salad harvesting
We grow a wide variety of oriental salad vegetables, and our salad bags are arguably our most popular product. We have refined our growing method over the years to produce more reliable and lower maintenance crops. Like most jobs on the farm, harvesting is done by hand. The crop being harvested here is Mibuna.

Salad packing
Once salad leaves are harvested, they need to be bagged. This too is a fairly labour intensive process. Once bagged they are taken to a cool place, where they are delivered to the customer the next day.

Routing hoeing of crops
We use Swiss oscillating hoes, which are very efficient. There are a variety of different sizes, depending on the crop. Usually a crop requires a combination of hoeing and weeding.

Stirring machine for the biodynamic preparations
We are a biodynamic farm, based on the principles developed by Rudolph Steiner. We meet the stringent standards set out by the Biodynamic Agricultural Association. Here is a biodynamic preparation being prepared.

Our hens
We have over four hundred hens, which are moved in mobile arcs around the farm, fertilising the land and feeding on the remnants of crops.

Tractor tour
For our box-scheme customers we hold a biennial farm open day. It is extremely popular and a good time is generally had by all. The highlight for many, especially our younger customers, is the tractor tour.

The packing shed
Once everything has been harvested, it needs to be packed and put into boxes ready for delivery the next day. The packing shed is really running at capacity at the moment, and we are planning to build a new one.

Loading the vans
Once the boxes have been assembled and checked, they need to be loaded into the vans ready for delivery. For the drivers, the day can start very early and finish very late.

inside tunnels

Organic certification UK6. Biodynamic Farms, BDAA reg no 295
©East Coast Organics Ltd, 24 Boggs Holdings, Pencaitland, East Lothian, EH34 5BD.  TEL/FAX: 01875 340227

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