Viewing posts categorised under: 1. Mr Paul's Farmchat

One Year On!

by Paul Southall on 25th March 2021
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It is now just over 12 months (March 9th 2020) since the trading business of Southalls of Norchard was taken over by Sandfields Farms Ltd. They have done a great job in that time, given the problems thrown up by the pandemic along with tricky weather patterns and new crops to get to grips with. Paul and Michael have been pleased to help with the handover in consultancy roles, merging our established patterns of crop husbandry and harvesting techniques with the innovation that is spread throughout the Gs Group. Many, but not all, of our farm team continue to work, and move forward, with Sandfields. We wish all concerned good luck for the future.

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Norchard Dynamos

by Paul Southall on 25th October 2019
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The 15th annual football match for the Don Southall Memorial Trophy provided another memorable Sunday morning watched by over 100 vocal supporters! Congratulations to the Torton Turds on their victory which leaves the overall tally as 6 victories to the Dynamos, 5 to the Turds and 4 (normally high-scoring) draws. Our team and supporters were kindly refreshed post match by the opposition in the nearby Parish Hall.

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Halloween is coming!

by Paul Southall on 10th September 2019
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Here's a line-up of our main pumpkin and squash varieties. We have about 10 squash and 15 pumpkin varieties to cover the range that our customers require. After a good growing season we now have a fair few super monsters lurking under the pumpkin leaves and as those leaves die back the fields will turn into a sea of orange.

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Squash on the way!

by Paul Southall on 6th August 2019
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These squash may be yellow at the moment but by the middle of September they should be a deep orangey-red colour! We've got a number of different squash varieties growing away to make up our Mixed Squash pack for the Autumn.

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RHS Visit

by Paul Southall on 18th March 2019
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We recently enjoyed hosting a group of Royal Horticultural Society students, who were interested to learn about commercial vegetable production. They are based at Hartlebury Castle and, as part of the visit, we made the most of an unusually warm Winter's day by visiting the Tugwood ponds. Whilst there we looked at the rare mature Wild Service tree (Sorbus Torminalis) which produces small fruit in the Autumn that taste a lot like dates, but first must rot a little bit to be edible! Wild Service timber was also used as far back as the 1200s to make crossbows for the King.

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NFU Horticulture

by Paul Southall on 14th January 2019
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 This article recently appeared in the NFU Horticulture magazine as part of a feature on how farmers can help to look after the environment. The pond pictured is at Tugwood and was designed with wildlife, especially wading birds, in mind.

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Ornamental Squash

by Paul Southall on 3rd December 2018
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Our range of squashes proved very popular over Halloween but they also make great ornaments at Christmas. We have had a small box designed specially so that we can supply an Ornamental Squash pack. As you can see they look great with one or two sprayed gold or silver, and the little Munchkins are as cute as ever!

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Concreting

by Paul Southall on 20th September 2018
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The Norchard building team getting stuck into some serious concreting. Up until last summer this shed was a sports hall for a local Prep school and we have moved it here to give us extra covered space. Next month (once the cement has hardened!) the plan is to fill the building with pumpkins and squashes.

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Red Flower Runners

by Paul Southall on 3rd September 2018
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The late patch of red flowered runner beans are looking good. They were well watered during the hot spell and the flowers are attracting plenty of bees for pollination. Runner beans were originally grown as ornamental plants and you can understand why when you see the vivid red flowers against the dark green leaves.

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Castle Peas

by Paul Southall on 30th June 2018
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Picking peas in front of Hartlebury Castle, traditionally the residence of the Bishop of Worcester. With the help of Lottery funding a local group have renovated the building and extensive gardens and have opened it to the public. As the heatwave continues, we are now picking not only peas but also broad and runner beans, sugar snap peas and courgettes. Next week dwarf beans and continental onions will also come to the party. The irrigation team are very busy.....

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