Tag Archives: farming

  • Burning Over

    The next stage for our busy farmers is "burning over" the fields. This removes any debris from the fields of last season's crop, and enables the cycle to start anew.

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    The process of burning over started after some Isles of Scilly farmers had a bonfire on one of their Scented Narcissi fields in the 1920's.  The next season, a patch of Narcissi grew earlier than all the others in the field, right where the bonfire took place. The farmers realised that burning over the crops, meant earlier flowers.

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    Originally, the farmers used bracken from the coastline, and then straw to burn over, but later, the Ministry of Agriculture introduced the farmers to Propane Burners, an easier and more efficient way of achieving the same result.

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    Another great result of burning over, is that it leaves a black residue on the ground, which then absorbs the heat- something our Scented Narcissi thrive on!

  • Farm Life

    You might be wondering what all of our farmers do when we aren't sending out flowers. We've had suggestions that they are taking long holidays in foreign places, or relaxing on the islands- but unfortunately for them, that is far from the truth!

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    At this stage in the Season, the farmers have to dig up all the acres of fields so they can treat and sterilise the Narcissi bulbs ready to be replanted.

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    The fields are prepared ready for next season too!

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    There is a long process before the bulbs are ready for replanting as they are above, so check back on our blog in a few weeks and we will explain the next stage to you!

  • Goodbye Bunching Line!

    As the quantity of Scented Narcissi becomes fewer at this late stage in the Season, we bid farewell to our bunching line team today!

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    They've been great all Season- Thanks for all your hard work and quality control!

  • Featured Farmer: Keith Hale of Tremelethen Farm

    Introducing Keith Hale of Tremelethen Farm:

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    How did your family first come to be on the Isles of Scilly?

    My  Mother's family had been on the island of Tresco since the 16th Century, but after they moved to Exeter, she always wanted to return to the islands. She joined the Land Army, who let her return, and she worked at Tresco Abbey Gardens.

    My Father moved to Tresco from Leicester as a herdsman for the estate. He was offered the position of herdsman at Tremelethen Farm in 1951 and we have been there ever since.

    I met my wife, Sarah, in The Mermaid, who moved here when she was 6 with her parents to  take over the Gold Farm, which also grew Scented Narcissi. She helps all winter on the farm with tying and grading Tremelethen Farm flowers.

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    How did you get into farming?

    I went away to boarding school and absolutely hated it! I returned as soon as I could after my 'O' Levels to help my father, and took over the farm from him when he passed away in 1951. My son, Rob, went away to Seale Hane Agricultural College, and has been helping Sarah and I on the farm for ten years now.

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    What else have you farmed on Tremelethen?

    My father loved milking cattle, and that along with potatoes was our main interest originally, growing Scented Narcissi and Daffs alongside these. Then, once plastic coverings became more widely used on the Mainland, there was less demand on the Islands for potatoes, so we concentrated all our efforts into farming Scented Narcissi.

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    Tell us about your farm:

    Tremelethen Farm is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, and is 50 Acres in total, which is made up of lots of small fields- each field that makes up the farm is about 1/3 of an Acre. As well as Scented Narcissi, our neighbour's cattle also graze on some of our land.

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    What's One of Your Favourite Scented Narcissi Farming Memories?  

    When I was 8 years old, picking in the fields, Bernard Chudleigh asked me to get his flask. I ran back with it, and finding the gate shut, threw it over the top....the entire thing smashed!

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     What's Your Favourite Thing About Farming Narcissi?

    It has to be going out and picking that very first flower, and smelling it, and thinking "ahhhh"!

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    What's Your Favourite Variety of Scented Narcissi?

    Both mine and Sarah's favourite variety is Sols as it's the old standard, and the traditional Island flower.  It's better in so many ways: ease of picking, ease of tying, plus a lovely scent and colour. I also love Scilly Pride for it's deep red center.

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    Tell us something about you that we don't know:

    I am the starter for the World Championship Gig Races that are held on Scilly every year, and am a bass player in The Steamband which had BBC coverage to an audience of over 30 bIllion people on Millenium night. I've also attended 3 royal weddings.

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    What's Your Favourite spot on the Isles of Scilly? 

    The view from Golf Farm on St. Mary's.

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    What's Your Favourite Farming Memory With Your Son, Rob Hale? 

    When he was a little boy, Rob used to love coming along in the tractor with me, but he would always fall asleep as soon as we started going, with his head nodding around all over the place as we went across the fields.

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    Any Tips For a Healthy "Father-Son" Working Relationship?

    A Father and Son working together doesn't mean we always agree on the same things, but we have a safety valve if things ever get heated! There was another farming father and son who once got in so irate with each other,  a hammer was thrown, so whenever things get a little heated, one of us will mention the hammer to lighten the mood!

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    Look our for our next "Featured Farmer" interview with Keith's son, Rob Hale in the coming weeks!

  • New Year, New Varieties

    It's been a great start to the New Year at Scented Narcissi, and we've had some lovely feedback on all of our Christmas Bouquets that were delivered in the last few weeks. Below are all the varieties we are currently cropping, keep checking back, as we have another ten varieties to come in the next few months!

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    IOSThis variety is famous for it's large florets and vivid colours, and looks beautiful on it's own or within our Seasonal Selection. It's scent has a jasmine heart with ylang ylang, and is described by our experts as being "crisp with the refreshing sensation of a brisk sea breeze".

    Hugh Town captures the freshness of a Spring day on the Isles of Scilly and reflects our warm and exotic location, in our mild winters.

    Grand Primo

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    A popular choice of Scented Narcissi, this is the first variety of Whites we have had, after Paper Whites to crop this Season- as featured in some of our Christmas Bouquets. With a citrus twist to the creamy richness of this variety, it offers a refreshing fragrance in January.

    Grand Primo is an indulgent and decadent variety, that spoils your senses with a rich and luxurious aroma. It has been described as having the effect of "instant relaxation".

    Other Varieties Available:

    Soleil D'Ors

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    Paper Whites

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    If you have any questions about certain varieties, or would like to tell us what your favourite variety is, let us know below!

     

     

  • Merry Christmas!

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    A very Merry Christmas to you all, and a huge Thank You for all the support you have given us over the last few weeks.

    From all of us at Scented Narcissi

  • More Visitors in Our Flower Fields...

    A few days ago we posted about a pheasant amongst our narcissi...and it would seem we are attracting more visitors again this week!

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    Let's hope our Pheasant and Cat don't meet face to face!

  • New Variety of Scented Narcissi Has Arrived!

    This morning we welcomed Gordon Bird of Pelistry Farm into the office with the first Sol's of the Season!

    Gordon Bird First of the Sols Nov 2013

    Sols are a huge favourite among our customers, who favour the grapefruit and vanilla nuances in their scent.

    The bad news is, we only had the handful you see to send out- but it won't be long before one of our other farms catches up, so watch this space!

    To shop from our current Varieties, click here.

  • Facebook Competition

    This week we have been running a fabulous Facebook competition giving one of our lucky Facebook "likers" a chance to win our gorgeous White Winter Wonderland Bouquet.

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    We had a fantastic response to this competition- with some really lovely things said about one of our newest bouquets- so thank you to everyone that shared, liked and commented.

    The winner of our Facebook competition is Holly Jenkins so a huge congratulations to her- we can't wait to arrange a delivery date with you!

    If you haven't already, take a look at our Facebook page to keep up to date with any special offers, competitions and of course news from the farms over our Christmas flower period.

  • A Pesky Pheasant with a Love of Paper Whites!

    This week the office was delighted to see we had a new friend in the Scented Narcissi fields outside the office window- a wonderfully coloured pheasant among all the gloomy weather this week had seen!

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    Between taking your orders, and handling your bouquets, we have been trying to snap a picture of our pheasant all week- as you can see he is a very allusive chap!

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    It was much to our surprise that one of our farmer's, Mr. Hale, was horrified to hear this bird was in his Scented Narcissi fields, as unbeknownst to us, what it was actually doing was kicking up the carefully planted Scented Narcissi bulbs him and his son, Rob,  had laboured over all Summer!

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    This got us thinking- what's the worst pest in your garden? Let us know in your comments below, and we will ask our farmers for any top tips we can pass on to you (with over 130 years of farming behind them, they must know a thing or two!) 

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