Our series that follows life on the UK’s only Jewish farm
As spring turned to summer at Sadeh, sheets of golden buttercups carpeted our meadow. The flowers were just in time to adorn the merrymakers at our Shavuot weekend in June where we appreciated the natural abundance around us with a Bikkurim (festival of fruits) procession and a night-long event with singing, storytelling and, of course, eating.
We grow many varieties of soft fruits on the farm and they are now coming into their element. Some are deliciously sweet, like the strawberries in the forest garden, others are yet to ripen, such as the damsons in the hedgerows and blackberries in the bramble patches.
It can all get a bit David Attenborough here at times: we watch the antics of a family of foxes living on the field and are continuing our efforts to attract wildlife by creating log pile habitats for insects, planting borders of nectar-rich flowers for bees and tending to our copse of young native trees for birds and other animals to nest in.
The bees and insects are also enjoying our wild areas, which have been blooming around the vegetable garden. We leave the weeds – with the steep decline in biodiversity insects need all the habitats they can get.
The broad beans, radishes and lettuces are ready to be harvested. Tomatoes, courgettes, sweetcorn, squashes, cabbages and turnips are also making an appearance and will be harvested over the next few months.
Summer is busy: we’re holding a summer camp (30 Jul–2 Aug), a Rest and Renewal festival (13-15 Sep) and Sadeh’s first wedding will take place in our Havdalah garden, with its fragrant herbs and flowers.
By Talia Chain
Summer Camp runs Tuesday 30 July – Friday 2 August for ages 5-11. 10am-2pm. £10 children.
Rest and Renewal Festival runs Friday 13 – Sunday 15 September. Phone for times and prices nearer the time. Both events will be at Sadeh and Skeet Hill House, Orpington, BR6 7QD. 01689 834 355. http://sadehfarm.co.uk
You can also find Sadeh Farm’s regular column in JR magazine, from the April 2019 issue.