Rosie’s Diary 2021: Part 1

Mar 31, 2021

Hi there! Most of you will already know me, but for those of you who don’t, let me reintroduce myself…

I’m Rosie, a second-generation blackcurrant grower from Norfolk, and I’m excited to see what this new season will bring. I love working on my farm, where blackcurrants have grown for the past 24 years, and since returning in 2018 after six years in the city, I’m now looking forward to my 3rd harvest!

This month has been all about planting, and with 12 hectares of land, we’ve been very busy. I know many blackcurrant growers who had already completed planting before I started; however, our land has been saturated and not dry enough to plant, even by hand! The weather usually is my biggest challenge, but with the recent warmer spring temperatures, we’ve been able to get stuck in and start the exciting planting process with our blackcurrant cuttings.

To ensure I grow the finest and most delicious blackcurrants, we plan the correct soil nutrition for the year with our agronomist. This is so that my new blackcurrant cuttings will start growing in the best possible conditions. We will also be trialing some new techniques with clover, legumes and different alleyway mixes and I look forward to sharing more on this later in the year.

Thanks to the plentiful spring sunshine, nearly all of the buds on my blackcurrant plants have started to break (except for the latest variety, Ben Tirran). The field of brown branches suddenly transforms to a field of beautiful green. For me, this is always a significant point in the year as life returns to the fields in abundance.

COVID-19 has presented additional considerations for safe working this year, as like last year, but through careful planning and organisation, we will achieve our planting goals while also staying safe. We will have a pre-harvest health and safety talk as we do every year to make sure our team is well briefed and prepared.

Over the last 12 months, I have definitely missed seeing the other growers and having great conversations with those experiencing the same journey as I. We usually meet up a couple of times a year, but this year we have been catching up on the phone, which I am still thankful for. Similar to most, I have also missed regular human interaction; however, I am looking forward to brighter days when we can see family, friends and growers again!

Thanks for following along with my journey – stay tuned for more updates from the fields coming soon!

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