Year end and Year Beginning

It’s been a busy time at Broxtead these last 6 weeks.  We are into onion harvest now hot on the heels of potatoes and cereals.  We have also been sharing our onion harvest with the rest of Great Britain through the media.  AJ Paul took part in “Foodie Friday” on BBC1’s, The One Show on Friday, 16th September and as I write, he is being interviewed for a weekend piece coming up in the Telegraph.  Anyone for Onion Soup?   Our potatoes and onions are available for purchase at The Suffolk Food Hall, Wherstead, near Ipswich (underneath the Orwell Bridge) or visit their website.

 This month’s weather has been warm with regular showers and our hedgerows and wild spaces are as colourful and abundant as anyone’s garden.  I spotted a wild mint with a pretty pale purple flower growing by the side of a farm road last week having just marvelled at the water lilies flowering again on the loam ponds.  The cereal crops have sprouted and bring a fresh green to the countryside whilst “tree-greens” are tiring.

       Pink Water Lily flowers emerging on the loam ponds

  As summer blooms into autumn, there will be all sorts of fungi emerging and I shall  attempt  to include some photos and descriptions next month with AJ’s help who is  knowledgeable enough to avoid anything poisonous.  I am looking forward to the array of  Autumn’s leaf colours and newly turned ploughed soil on the land, and the wildness and  drama that appears along the Suffolk coastline when the winter sets in.  Even better when you can return to a warm fire either in our local pub in Shottisham, or at our holiday lets at Vale Farm.

                                            Wild Mint at Broxtead              

 In the office too, our year end approaches with preparations underway to give some thought about the financial year to come.  We are also taking bookings for the year ahead at Vale Farm Barns particularly for the party season (that shall remain nameless – it is only September!) .  Vale Farm Barns can be rented as a whole providing accommodation for 18 people – all of whom can dine around our enormous dining table in Vancouver barn for a great get-together.  (All the necessary decorations are provided so no “taking-down” session in the New Year which I always think is the worst bit!)  (Visit Big House Holidays website for “whole-barn” bookings or

 In farming, there is a feeling of our “year” drawing to a close – once marked by Old Michaelmas Day on October 11th when tenant farmers traditionally paid their farm rent to their landlord.  The nights drawing-in will be welcomed by our arable staff who seemed to have worked all the daylight hours since last Spring!  Once our onions are safely stored, we will have plenty of time to enjoy the Broxtead autumn and winter.

Vale Farm Barns The Farm Experience Local Wildlife