Sunday, September 9, 2018

Bringing in the hay

Our four fields of hay were cut on Friday 31st August, baled on the following Wednesday, and gradually brought into the open barn on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning. Thankfully this year there was no heavy rain in the forecast (and none in real life either), so we could take our time and continue all the other farm activities (such as picking veg!) as well. Many thanks go to everyone who helped with the hay, it's a big job and we're very grateful to you all - Ben 1, Andy, Pete, Ben 2, Stella, Marin, Rob, Alice, Jenny, Solomon, Medellin, Malina and Dom - and to Simon for getting our tipping trailor functional as it made a big difference with faster turnarounds between yard and field.
 
Clive and Kieron baling in Carn Meadow on Wednesday afternoon.

About to collect the first trailor load in Carn Meadow as the baling continues.

Ben 2 and Pete loading the trailor in Standing Stone Field.

Pete, Ben 1, and Rob loading the trailor in Hotel Meadow.

Stacking hay in the barn - Andy, Malina, Pete and Ben 1.

Ben 1 and Pete with the final load from Hotel Meadow, on Saturday lunchtime.
Carrying from farmyard to barn - Andy, Jenny, Alice, and kids.

894 bales stacked in the open barn ready for use and sale.
This year we harvested 894 bales from our four fields, the same land surface that we harvested 1040 from last year - this reduced yield is due to the lack of rain for two months of the growing season. The hay is now available to buy in our farm shop at only £3 per bale - we still have 42 bales of last year's hay if you prefer your fodder to be more mature!

New raised beds

We had a grassy patch between our propagation polytunnel and the sheltered bed behind it (for salad and runner beans), so we decided to build some raised beds and utilise the space.
An unused wooden tonne box in the packing shed, which was sliced into three sections to make the raised beds.

The first section, having been jigsawed off the top of the tonne box.

The three boxes in position, laying in the cardboard, and starting to fill with our own compost.

Filling with our own compost, then a layer of green waste compost on the top.

The three raised beds ready for planting.
We built, installed, and filled the three new beds on Tuesday afternoon, and on Wednesday morning we planted two with salad seedlings, sowed the third with radish seeds, and finally covered them with wondermesh to protect and shelter them.

Stella and Marin

Stella (from Austria, on her second visit) and Marin (from Germany) both left the farm on Friday morning after wwoofing with us - many thanks to both of them for their hard work and help.
Stella stacking hay bales on the trailor on our first day of bringing in the hay.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Hay update

Our hay was baled on Wednesday afternoon, and so far we have brought 295 bales into the barn for storage. This afternoon we began on the second field of four. We will be bringing more in tomorrow, Friday, from 2 till 5pm, and then all day Saturday, from 9am till 5pm, if anybody would like to come and join the team of volunteers. Just turn up - we'd love to see you!!

Coco

Coco, from the south of France, left the community farm this morning to return home for studies, having volunteered with us for one month. Many thanks go to Coco, and to all our volunteers, for their help, and for making Bosavern Community Farm such a special place.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Kristin

Kristin picking runner beans in the market garden.
Kristin, from Stuttgart, came to volunteer for a second time, but is heading back to Germany tomorrow to continue her studies. Many thanks Kristin for your help and enthusiasm, and we look forward to your third visit!

Chilli peppers

This year we have grown five chilli varieties, four of which are shown above. The fifth variety, rocoto, is just starting to produce now, having been killed off by the snow in March - they are perennials so we have had to start again using seeds saved from last year.

Jalapeno - bottom right, our mildest chilli, scoring 2,500 to 5,000 on the Scoville scale, most commonly used on pizza toppings (a chipotle is a smoked jalapeno).

Cayanetta - top left, a mild chilli, almost identical in appearance to the Ring Of Fire but with a rounded rather than pointed end, scoring 20,000 Scoville Heat Units.

Ring Of Fire - top right, the good old faithful of our chillies, scores 70,000 to 85,000 Scoville Heat Units.

Habanero - bottom left, my new favourite, hotter and tastier than the Ring Of Fire, measuring 100,000 to 350,000 on the Scoville scale.

All are available in our shop (and at farmers' markets) at only 10p each.
(We also stock sweet chill sauce, chille relish, and chilli chocolate....)