Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sowing and planting.

The lack of recent blog entries has been a sign that we have been very busy on the farm over the past few weeks. The end of July is a critical date for getting all our seeds and plants into the ground ready for autumn and winter, which is what we've been up to instead of blogging. Our two crop fields, totalling one hectare of vegetables (not including polytunnels) are now fully sown or planted for the first time in their recent history, and that's a cause for celebration.
Watering 2000 cabbage seedlings during the dry spell.
Our maincrop field is now one third potatoes (topped due to blight, but already harvesting delicious Maris Peer earlies), one third brown onions, 2000 cabbages under wondermesh, and 12,000 swede seeds sown.
Our market garden field is full of carrots (some for fresh, some for storage), beetroot, chard, runner beans, broad beans, mange-tout peas, sugar snap peas, garden peas, borage, squashes, courgettes, spinach, salads, kales, purple sprouting broccoli, green sprouting calabrese, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers (both autumn and winter), 5000 leeks, red onions, parsnips and early potatoes. No doubt I've forgotten something there. Celeriac, parsley, Florence fennel etc...
Weeding parsnips, a massive task, but they're now looking superb.

Re-skinning the new polytunnel.

Also on Lafrowda Saturday (22nd July) the new skin on our polytunnel failed above where we had battened it to the base-rail, and the only option we had was to cut the plastic off and weigh it down before it came away completely and blocked the St Just to Lands End road.
Serious plastic failure on the tunnel got us all in a flap...
Luckily there were 6 of us on hand to drag the plastic off the frame and pile tyres on the top. This left our 300 tomato plants horribly exposed, and some came down and some suffered wind burn, and the aubergines took a battering too.
Damaged tomato plants hanging in there in a damaged tunnel.
But we ordered a new skin during the week, and last Saturday 29th a group of community volunteers came to help us fit it - and due to the extra practice we fitted it even better this time!

The new skin on, ready for battening and trimming.

A team of pullers and pleaters ready for action.

The tunnel all skinned and beautiful again.
Many thanks to everybody who came along at 7am on Saturday morning to help - Alice, Andrew, Anita, Carlos, Deb, Gerald, Gill, Jenny, Jim, Joan, Karen, Kathrin, Malcolm, Morley, Paul, Paul, Paul, and Tim - and for those who provided breakfast for the hungry team.

We are already getting ripe tomatoes, and will go into full production within the next two weeks.

Bosavern at Lafrowda.

Bosavern Community Farm were pleased to take part in St just's annual Lafrowda Festival for the third consecutive year. Not only did we host the Traditional Farming Day on the first Saturday of the festival (see previous entry) and have our usual stall selling farm produce on Fore Street on the day, but the Bosavern Singers entertained in the Plen-an-Gwary, and our "chick-o-saurus" took part in the afternoon's community procession (as published in last week's Cornishman).
Our stall set up in Fore Street before the market begins.

A good range of fresh produce from the farm.
If anybody has a photo of the chick-o-saurus in action can you please email me a copy for posting on this page - many thanks.

Thanks to Mattias for the above chick-o-saurus photos.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Karen, from Belgium, left yesterday after one month wwoofing on the farm, including running our stall at the last five farmers markets because she is writing a thesis on the subject as part of her anthropolgy degree. Thanks for your efforts, and good luck with your studies!
Karen (centre) enjoying a Cot Valley cove picnic with Gerald and Camille.


Camille came to the community farm as a placement student for five weeks - she is studying agronomy in France - and left last Sunday. Many thanks for all your hard work, and good luck with the rest of your studies!
Camille planting tomatoes in the new polytunnel.

Lisa and Mattias.

Lisa, who was here in May, returned with Mattias to wwoof for another week, and they left last Sunday to return to Germany. Many thanks for coming back, those extra two pairs of hands made a big difference!
Lisa (front centre) and Mattias (back left) in the cabbage field after emergency watering, with Karen, Gerald and Camille.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trainee grower position.

Trainee Grower
Bosavern Community Farm requires a Trainee Grower, to work with the Grower (Hugh), other staff members, community volunteers, and WWOOFers, in the growing of food (vegetables, herbs and fruit) and care of animals (mainly laying hens, other livestock too). No prior experience necessary, although useful, but must be willing to work outdoors in all weathers and to a flexible timetable.
Must be flexible, able to work as part of a team although sometimes (mainly Sundays) alone; punctual, enthusiastic about local sustainable farming, must comply with Wholesome Food Association standards.

Salary and contract:
Full time = 39 hours per week.
Days = Thursday to Monday, with Tuesday and Wednesday off.
Times = Thurs/Fri/Sat/Mon 09:00-18:00 (one hour lunch/breaks), Sun 07:30-15:30. Starting as soon as possible.
Accommodation = live out. Food not included.

For further information, including job description
please see the web site (www.bcents.org), or visit the farm (on the road to Sennen). Closing date 9th August 2013. Interviews will be 14th August. Starting work as soon as possible for a contract of 6 months. Please apply by email with letter of application and CV to:
james@bcents.org, or by mail to the farm.

Bosavern Community Farm

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Small bales of hay for sale.

This year's hay harvest is now for sale, priced as always at £3 per bale, only cut last week. Please call in to the farmhouse to pay.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Traditional Farming Day.

On the first day of the Lafrowda fortnight, in conjunction with the Lafrowda Festival, Saturday 6th July saw us host a traditional farming day here on the farm. Plenty of people came along to watch working horse in action, help sow a wildflower meadow, learn how to make real lemonade, relax in the cafe area with tea and home-made cake, buy farm produce, meet the baby chicks and cattle, play rounders, explore the farm on a tour, make scarecrows, and ask questions at gardeners question time in the farmyard.
Baby chicks in the farmyard.

A typically fine display of cakes.

Organic cattle in the open barn.

Produce from the farm for sale.

Enjoying the cafe area.

Jo and Keith with one of their horses harrowing a field.

Exploring the farm.

The obligatory game of rounders.

Making scarecrows.

We'd like to thank all those people who made the day such a success by helping and/or attending.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cutting the first hay.

Given the excellent weather and forecast, we have taken the plunge and cut one field of hay, which is now spread out drying, being turned daily. We have sold out of last season's small-bale hay (748 bales), apart from 12 bales which we have kept for our own use as animal bedding.
Clive cutting hay in Home Field.

Some of this weeks produce.

The first beetroot of the new season, sown mid-March.

New season baby carrots, also sown mid-March.

Young fresh red onions - when harvested young the whole plant can be eaten, leaves and shoots and all, and is a delicious early season treat. We have left the majority of the crop in the ground to mature into larger onions.

The first of our Maris Peer early potatoes.

Autumn-planted onions and shallots drying in the sun.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Amber, from the USA, moved on today having volunteered on the farm for ten days - thanks for all your hard work and all the best for your onward travels!
Amber weighing chard in the packing shed.