With squash season well and truly underway we thought a rainy day in late October was the best time to pay a visit to Bedlam Farm, home to our gourd hero Clive Martin’s flatter-than-flat farmland in the fens to see these seasonal stars in full swing.
Bish bosh squash with Clive Martin
Super speedy squash
Squash grow incredibly fast, especially in the rich, dark soil of Cambridgeshire fenland, meaning they can be planted out long after the threat of a late frost. This does mean however that this time of year the fun really doesn’t let up, and Clive’s place is a hive of activity throughout the day, from the team in the field hand-cutting each squash from their weedy tethers, to the quality control team in the barn checking and scrubbing each individual gourd. No effort spared for our customers!
Looking out over the fields we can see all the dedication it takes to hand harvesting each and every gourd. It's magical to see squashes as far as the eye could see, littering the ground like the fallout from a Halloween festival, waiting their turn for the pick-up truck. And although the sun struggled to break through, the bees were still hard at work taking advantage of the wildflowers that Clive lets grow around his fields. To anyone else they’d be weeds, but their importance to an organic farmer cannot be understated.
Like many of our organic farmers Clive’s an entrepreneurial chap, and for the last few years he’s diversified his growing efforts to provide us with more than just squash. Looking particularly handsome were the globe artichokes, standing tall among the formidable greenery, not to mention the long-stemmed broccoli snapping with moisture. Just beyond our field we also caught a sneak-peek of next year’s offerings- the yellowing feathery fronds of asparagus waiting to send up their much-prized tender shoots next spring, or the umbrella-like leaves of rhubarb storing up their energy for next year’s pairing with custard. The weather might not have been on our side, but nothing can dampen our enthusiasm for Clive’s talents!