Pumpkin time

by Paul Southall on 9th October 2018
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The first pumpkin season for our first grandson.

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Western Conifer Seed Bug

by Paul Southall on 27th September 2018
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Just found the first farm record of Western Conifer Seed Bug. This North American species accidentally introduced into Italy has been spreading across Europe and into Britain. Worcestershire's first record was in 2011.

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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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Wool Aliens

by Paul Southall on 20th September 2018
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The scorching hot summer has helped the germination of wool aliens on the farm. These are seeds of plants imported on wool for the carpet industry and the waste wool spread onto the land as fertilizer, called shoddy. The two shown have origins in the Americas. Buffalo-bur, Solanum rostratum, and Thorn-apple, Datura stramonium respectively.

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Chromatomyia alprilina

by Paul Southall on 15th September 2018
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The leaf mines I found in Honeysuckle this week have been confirmed as being caused by the larvae of the small gall-midge fly, Chromatomyia alprilina.

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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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Convolvulus Hawk-moth

by Paul Southall on 24th August 2018
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This Convolvulus Hawk-moth arrived from the continent this week. We plant Nicotiana, or Tobacco plants to attract the migrant species. Its long probiscus can reach the nectar at the bottom of the long flowers. It is the fourth consecutive year the species has been recorded here.

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Neolithic arrowhead

by Paul Southall on 20th July 2018
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I was pleased, and lucky, to spot this finely worked neolithic flint arrowhead among the continental onion harvest debris.

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Metalampra italica

by Paul Southall on 7th July 2018
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Exciting to find this Metalampra italica moth amongst the catch this morning. It is possibly the first county record for the species for Worcestershire, although it has been recorded in neighbouring counties.

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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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