Monday, March 25, 2019

Potato planting 2019

Having been forced to wait for the ground to dry out sufficiently, we planted all our potatoes on Saturday 23rd March, one day earlier than last year. This year we have planted 28 sacks in total, being 2 of Casablanca first earlies, 2 of Charlotte salads, 6 of Maris Peer second earlies, 9 of Ambo maincrop, and 9 of Carolus blight-tolerant maincrop, all of which took 5 hours and filled about one acre of the old chicken field (Meeting Field).
Alan and Shelley on the back of the planter, loaded up and ready to go.

And in action.

A view from the tractor cab.
A special thanks to Shelley for helping out - Shelley helped plant potatoes two years ago as a wwoofer, and is now a member of staff at the farm, but gave up one of her days off to sit on the planter. And thanks to Alan, one of our current wwoofers, for filling the other seat.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Planting broad beans, salad, and kale

Six of our wonderful new permanent raised beds have recently been planted with seedlings from our Propagation Station - two with broad beans, two with mixed salad, and two with red Russian kale.
Broad bean seedlings outside hardening off prior to planting.

Adrien, our long-term French volunteer, planting broad beans.

Salad seedlings outside hardening off (to be planted just before Storm Gareth....).

Today's veg boxes

Today was "Purple kohl-rabi Friday".....
Azur Star kohl rabi ready for packing into veg boxes.

Giant red mustard about to be picked.

Anne harvesting giant winter spinach for our standard veg boxes.
Today's small veg boxes (£6) - purple kohl rabi, giant red mustard, mixed salad leaves, leeks, fresh coriander, and potatoes.
Today's standard veg boxes (£10) - purple kohl rabi, giant red mustard, mixed salad leaves, leeks, potatoes, spinach, kale, a lettuce, and fresh coriander.
We deliver to your door anywhere in West Penwith, and have collection hubs in Pendeen, St Ives, and Penzance.
When we need to pack our veg we use compostable starch bags or brown paper bags, and we re-use our veg boxes over and over again. We ask our customers to return their veg boxes and egg-boxes for us to re-use, and we encourage customers to provide re-usable containers for us to pack their veg into.
To join our veg box sceme phone us on 788454 or email vegbox.bcf@gmail.org.uk

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Stormy farming

After a week of stong winds and heavy rain (even hail) it's good to have the weather calm down this week, so that we can get out and prepare land for potatoes etc....
Watching the tail end of Storm Gareth lash the market garden, from the safety of a polytunnel.

Working in a polytunnel on Saturday afternoon 16/3/19 as Storm Gareth rages outside - weeding and planting with Alan and Adrien.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Nerida and Gerardo

Two other WWOOF volunteers have also completed their stays with us recently - Nerida from Melbourne, Australia, who was on her second visit, and Gerardo from Granada, Spain. Many thanks to both of them for their help during their stays, and we hope to see them back some day.
We are currently recruiting WWOOFers for this season, for stays of between two and six weeks starting from now. If you are interested in volunteering with us (or any other host in the UK) as a WWOOFer please visit the WWOOF UK website to join up, and contact us through them.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Weigh and pay self-service leaves

We've already moved on from bagging up our leaves into compostable bags. We found that the starch bags didn't keep the leaves as fresh as plastic bags, but we aren't willing to return to using disposable plastic. So we're now storing all our fresh leaves in large plastic containers in the shop, both in the fridge and on the shelves, from where customers can help themselves using tongs. We're offering three types of bag to use for this - free brown paper bags, compostable stach bags at 5p, and degradable plastic carrier bags also at 5p. We then weigh the bag on the shop scales. Customers can bring their own bags and containers to weigh into.



Jasmine, Shane, and Jelena

Jasmine, from Hertfordshire, volunteered as a WWOOFer on the farm for one week; Shane, from Bristol, for one month; and Jelena, from Hamburg, also for one month; and all have come to the end of their stays with us recently and moved on. They are just three of the many hundreds of volunteers from around the UK and the rest of the World that have come to stay and help on the farm over the years, and to learn about small-scale sustainable farming. We'd like to thank them (and everyone else) for their help during their time with us, and wish them well in their futures.
Jelena planting mange-tout seedlings in and end of one of our polytunnels.

Shane and Jasmine preparing a bed for mange-tout.

Shane and one of the prepared beds. We're experimenting this year by planting mange-tout into some underused polytunnel ends, to try to maximise space in 3 of our tunnels.