Rosie’s Diary 2021: Part 3

Jun 8, 2021

Here at my blackcurrant farm in Norfolk, we’ve been having a lot of wet and windy conditions over the last few weeks, which has definitely brought in additional challenges for us. We have had so much rain on the farm that we have only had the irrigators out once – but the sunshine over the past week has made us extremely hopeful for the weeks ahead. 

The early varieties have suffered with loss of flowers from high winds so, unfortunately, I’m not very optimistic on a high yield. So we’re now focussing more on helping them achieve growth for next year. The wet weather continues to be a challenge throughout the year, so we’re paying special attention to how we can become more resilient to these changing weather patterns. Together with Ribena, we work with the James Hutton Institute to cultivate more weather resistant varieties that will suit our great British weather, land and environment.

An exciting time now as some of the cuttings we planted in April are in flower! With a 99% survival rate too, which is incredible news. Apart from this, all our bushes (except the late varieties) have also now set their fruit for this year – with swelling behind the flowers as the blackcurrants start to grow – thankfully due to these flowers already being pollinated by the bees!! We continue to be huge advocates for protecting our bee population; we have also just had our 3rd beekeeper on the farm in the past week. These precious pollinators are so incredibly important to us and the environment, so I urge you to do your best to protect them in your own spaces. We are also always looking for new ways to provide a safe haven for wildlife on our farm. We have seen more hares this year than ever before and they seem to love the blackcurrant rows to hide from predators!

I have also now begun my driving lessons for the blackcurrant harvester. Gavin, our Farm Manager is responsible for teaching me and, luckily for me, is an incredibly patient person! With some positive changes in the team, this means that should we wish to use two harvesters in one day, I would be captain of the ship driving the second harvester. Exciting times, indeed!

I also have a couple of farm visits later in the month at Norfolk FWAG and ArgriTechE Young Innovators Forum which I am very much looking forward to. Overall, I can’t wait to see the fruits of our labour in July when we harvest and I will bring you new updates from the farm very soon!

Thanks for following my journey – I’ll be sharing more updates from the blackcurrant fields soon!

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