Sunday, October 30, 2016


This year's leeks are probably the best we have ever grown, and we should have several month's supply of them over the winter - yum!
We chose 8 varieties all with different harvesting times to give us a planned succession from October to May, and sowed them in sequence in a seedbed in a polytunnel at the very end of February. In July we transplanted them in sequence into the market garden, into long lines of municipal compost, watered them in and left them to grow, with just some weeding to help them along.
March, leek seedbed sown amongst the winter crops in a polytunnel.

July, transplanting leeks by hand into the market garden.

October, Andy with a giant 700g leek in the packing shed.

Leeks now on sale in our farm shop.

Veg boxes 28th October

A small veg box (£6) with a dozen eggs (£3) - mixed salad leaves, Picasso potatoes, golden pak choi, peppers, onions, and a Jack-be-Little pumpkin - all for £9 (or £10 delivered).
The standard box (£10, or £11 delivered) also contained beetroot, leafy celery, and red Russian kale.

Please contact the farm on to arrange your veg box.

Mothership polytunnel reskinning

The storms of last winter ripped our oldest polytunnel in several places, and by Easter this year the tunnel was fully open to the elements - which this year have not been too bad and we have managed to produce crops throughout the year from the tunnel. But with winter looming, and a fine day forecast, we took the plunge and reskinned our Mothership on Tuesday 25th October.
The remains of our polytunnel this summer, with kiwi vine and physallis bush bursting through the frame.
Cleared ready for reskinning.
To cover a polytunnel we aim for a sunny calm day and a minimum of ten people. The weather on Tuesday was perfect, and 12 volunteers came to help, making 13 of us in total - many thanks to Aaron, Ben, Kate, Simon, Alice, Deborah, Mirjam, Jess, Doug, Andy, Laia and Ian for their time and labours.
Hugh's team digging in the west side of the tunnel....

....and Ian's team digging in the east side.

The complete skin over the tunnel and being dug in, prior to cutting and battening in place.
We started putting the anti-hot-spot tape on the frame at 09:00, after the sun had dried the metal, and had the cover pulled over, centred, and with initial securings in place in time for coffee-break. Then by lunch we had the trenches filled and the cover nicely secure and taut. Most volunteers were able to leave at that point (though some stayed for lunch), leaving a small group to work through the afternoon, cutting out the doorways, and battening the loose edges securely to achieve a tight finish.
The afternoon team - Aaron, Laia, Andy and Doug.
It has been a mild calm week, allowing us to leave the tunnel to concentrate on other farm work, before returning to it on Saturday to hang the doors and windows, and tidy up the excavations.
Building the front doors.

Doug and Jess at the back of the completed Mothership.
Now we have to finish digging over and planting the inside of the tunnel! But it's lovely to have our Mothership back in action ready for winter. Thanks to all!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Mirjam (pictured above organising our punnets in the packing shed - not the greatest job but it didn't half need doing!), from Germany, left the farm on Tuesday to move on to her next wwoofing experience on Dartmoor. Many thanks Mirjam for all your help, and especially for delaying your departure to help with the polytunnel skinning on Tuesday morning (and sorting those punnets..).

Monday, October 24, 2016

Harvesting squash and chillies

Doug and Mirjam clean-picking ring-o-fire chillies in the polytunnel.

Chillies joining the onions and squashes in the propagation station to dry.

Jack Be Little squash laid out to ripen in the polytunnel.

Part of this year's squash and pumpkin harvest.

Veg boxes 21st October

Standard veg box = 500g brown onions, 1kg Picasso potatoes, 3 peppers, 500g carrots, 200g Swiss chard, a swede, 400g leeks, 200g kale, 100g salad leaves, 500g striped beetroot = £10 (or £11 delivered to your door).

Small veg box = 100g salad leaves, 1kg Picasso potatoes, 200g kale, 2 peppers, 500g carrots, 400g leeks; plus added extras of one litre milk, 6 free-range eggs, and a large sourdough loaf = £11.80 (or £12.80 delivered to your door).
All fresh produce was grown on the community farm, including the eggs, with organic milk from Treen and organic bread from Helston. Please contact the farm on 01736 788454 to order yours.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Polytunnel skinning

The re-skinning of our Mothership will hopefully go ahead on Tuesday 25th October (unless the weather forecast changes drastically), so can anybody who is able to help for a few hours please meet at the farm at 10am. We hope to have the bulk of the work done by 1pm, when you can either stay for lunch or drift off.
We hope to see you then!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Proposed polytunnel skinning

Our "Mothership" ploytunnel has been without a plastic skin since last winter's storms, and needs one before this winter gets started. She has been prepared in readiness, and we have the skin waiting, now we just need the weather and enough people to do the job (10 people minimum)! Both Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th October look promising, so we're keeping an eye on the wind speed forecasts for those days in the hope that one of them will be good. If anybody is available and willing to lend a hand, on either next Tuesday or Wednesday, from 10am till 1pm, can you please email us at We would appreciate all the help we can get. We will know on Monday afternoon which day (if any) we will attempt the job, and we'll post another message here to verify when.
Many thanks in anticipation!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Aubree, from Florida, volunteered as a wwoofer on the farm for one month, and left yesterday to continue her travels in the UK and across Europe. Many many thanks to Aubree for her help, and we hope that her parents manage to restore their hurricane-hit condo in time for her home-coming!

Hayle Hub launch

Last Friday, two representatives of Transition Penwith came to the farm to harvest and collect "reject" (grade-out) vegetables to cook a free lunch for 75 people at their Hayle Hub. We gave them lots of beetroot that had gone soft in storage, and 20kg of potatoes that had worm-holes in, and allowed them to harvest veg from the market garden which we would not be able to sell, such as bolted bulb fennel, big runner beans, and chard and kale with slug holes in it. With this haul they cooked oven-roast veg and a hearty vegetable stew, and the event was very successful. It's amazing what you can do with imperfect produce!
Lesley and Charlie with some of their pickings.
"Transition Penwith's Hayle Hub is a group seeking to build positive communities in all ways from sharing time, food, stories, music making and other activities".

Veg boxes 14th October

On Friday 14th October our veg boxes contained the following (all grown on the community farm):-

Small £6 box - Picasso pink-eyed potatoes, 3 peppers, beetroot, rainbow chard, leafy celery, and mixed salad leaves.

Standard £10 box - Picasso potatoes, onions, beetroot, leeks, 3 peppers, kale, a cucumber, carrots, leafy celery, and mixed salad leaves.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Autumn produce

We have some beautiful produce on the farm this autumn. After last year's failure to produce any leeks or swedes (due to rabbits and neglect) and poor harvests of onions (rabbits and neglect) and beetroot (low fertility), this year we have more quantity and more quality of them all. Weeding, compost/manure, and rabbit-proofing are key!
"Autumn king" carrots

"Summer crooknecked" squash

"Sturon" onions

"Red Baron" onions


mixed peppers

Courgettes and summer squash

Red, golden, and "Chioggia" striped beetroot

"Golden acre" summer cabbage

Mixed salad leaves ready for bagging.

Recent certificates

Bosavern Community Farm has received two certificates recently. The first was from Grow Wild in association with Kew Gardens, "in recognition of our outstanding contribution" to the Grow Wild network, for our bee garden and bee-education shed (both works in progress).
 And the second was from St Just In Bloom, who have just won a gold award and joint "Champion of Champions" for the South West of England. This is the fourth year that the farm has entered the "It's Your Neighbourhood" section, and the second year running we have been awarded "Outstanding".
Neither of these would have come to us if it had not been for the continued invaluable work done by all the volunteers involved with the community farm (more volunteers are always welcome).

Tidying the workshop

After a few years of neglect, at the end of which we were struggling to even open the door, we've spent some time over the past 2 weeks tidying our workshop and converting it back into a usable space!
There were things in there that we didn't even know we had, some of which are useful and some of which are junk.... Now we just have to keep it this way....

Hay for sale

Our hay bales are now for sale at £3 each. We have a limited stock of about 280, to be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. They were cut from our unsprayed meadows in August, and have been stored undercover in our barn since then. Please call in to the farm to collect yours.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Converting polytunnel beds from summer to winter crops

During the summer our 5 polytunnels grow the following crops - lettuce-based salads, tomatoes, peppers, chillies, jalapenos, aubergines, climbing French beans, basil, cape gooseberries (physallis), tomatillos, cucumbers, early courgettes, celery, chives, lemon verbena, strawberries, Vietnamese coriander, and nasturtiums. During the winter they grow - brassica-based salads, kohl rabi, green sprouting broccoli/calabrese, black Tuscan kale (cabalonero), watercress, parsley, coriander, pak choi, Chinese cabbage, radishes, and rainbow chard. This entails taking out the spent summer plants and putting in fresh winter plants, most of which takes place in October, and is done on a piecemeal basis depending on what is ready to come out and go in, and also when we have the time and help to do the work.
Yesterday we converted one and a half lines in "Nigel" from courgettes and aubergines to winter salads.
Step 1, pull out the old plants and weeds, and remove slugs.

Step 2, straighten the irrigation lines.

Step 3, mulch with compost.

Step 4, dib in new plants.

Veg boxes 7th October

We are at that curious stage of the year where we are gradually crossing over from summer to winter veg. Consequently our veg boxes this week contained:-
Small (£6) - red Russian kale, summer crooknecked squash, Picasso potatoes, leeks, peppers and red onions.
Standard (£10) - Picasso potatoes, red onions, beetroot, leeks, peppers, runner beans, red Russian kale, basil, cucumber, chard and a marrow.
We will deliver your veg box to your door up to and including Penzance for only £1 extra.
Please contact us on 788454 to ask about veg boxes.


Everyone at the farm would like to thank Ali, from Australia, for her help as a WWOOF volunteer on the farm in September, and wish her lots of fun with the alpacas in Devon!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Harvest celebration photos

Yesterday we held our annual harvest celebration open day, this year in conjunction with the Community Supported Agriculture Association's "open weekend". The weather was glorious, and helped to make it one of our best attended open days to date.

Sue, Jenny and Willow preparing craft activities in the cob roundhouse.
Ian from Chypraze farm with their barbecue in the farmyard.
One of the many cakes in the self-service pop-up cafe, organised by Alice.
Our farm shop ready for business.

Sophie's Touch had a stall selling her produce in the farmyard.
Fran demonstrating how to spin wool, by the campfire.
A tour of the under-construction bee education area, with Ian.
A tour of the market garden and polytunnels, with Hugh.
Exploring the square-metre vegetable beds outside our cob roundhouse, with Sonia.
Sowing bee-friendly wildflowers in the bee education garden (in association with Grow Wild and Kew Gardens).
We'd like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers and everybody else who helped to make this open day so positive and special, whether you led a tour or baked a cake, weeded the beetroot or tidied the shop, sowed some seeds or came along to have a look around and a chat - thank you for being a part of our community.