Sunday, April 15, 2018

Veg boxes 13th April

French breakfast radishes picked for veg boxes.
 Small £6 veg box - cauliflower, potatoes, Chinese leaves, coriander, parsley, and mixed salad leaves.

Frisee endives ready for picking.
Standard £10 veg box - cauliflower, potatoes, Chinese leaves, coriander, parlsey, frisee endive, purple kohl rabi, vivid choi greens, and French breakfast radishes.

Please email the farm on vegbox.bcf@bcents.org.uk to order your veg box, or to ask us about it.

Planting cucumbers and the first tomatoes

We've hopefully seen the last of the cold winter weather (Cornwall had double the average precipitation in March, some of which fell as snow), so we've planted this years cucumber crop in the polytunnel, being 120 plants of Passandra, plus our first 90 tomato plants. The second batch of tomatoes will be ready to plant in two weeks time, and the third batch is just germinating now.
Cucumber plants in the Sausage polytunnel.

Tomato plants gradually replacing winter salads in Nigel polytunnel.

And a photo of the mange-tout plants in Imogen polytunnel, just because they look amazing.

Mural completed

Bethany adding the final touches on Wednesday afternoon.
The completed artwork.
Many thanks to Bethany for her 5 days of painting!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Living room mural

Bethany, an art student at Falmouth University, has come to stay at the farm for her fourth time, with the main intention to create a Bosavern Community Farm themed mural in the farmhouse living room (and hopefully do some weeding once it's finished?).
Friday, the wall is prepared and surrounding area cleared ready for action.
Saturday, with the pink background ready and the first few designs begun.
Tuesday, and the mural is really taking shape.
Watch this blog to see how our latest farm artwork develops over the coming few days....

Ploughing the market garden

As previously reported on this blog, we have this winter split the market garden into two by planting three lines of willow windbreak down the middle of it. The further half will be worked as much as possible by tractor, starting last week when the ground drained just enough for us to be able to plough it, one acre taking about three hours on Friday then Saturday afternoons.
The market garden before ploughing - the first time it has been ploughed for several years.

Getting started.

Three hours later - ready for rolling and rotovating into strips.

Three lines of overwintering onions undisturbed along the southern edge.

Lillie, Sam, Rahma, Kristin and Manon

A whole team of wwoofers has left over the past few days (to be replaced by a new team), so we'd like to send our thanks to Lillie (especially for running our stall at the Penwith Green Fair) (from Shropshire), Sam (also from Shropshire), Rahma (from Indonesia), Kristin (from Germany, who enjoyed it so much that she's booked to come back in August), and Manon (from France).
Kristin, Lillie and Sam, digging dock roots out of the market garden to prepare it for ploughing.

Manon likewise.

Rachma preparing a bed in the Sausage ready for planting cucumbers.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Mathis, Mateo and Fabiola

Our three lovely wwoof volunteers, pictured above, have left the farm to return to France and Germany, after spending most of March helping us out. Here they are preparing a tomato bed in the polytunnel, converting it from winter salads and digging in lots of our own compost.

Potato planting 2018

After the Beast from the East parts 1 and 2, and despite there being rumours of part 3 to come, we managed to plant all our potatoes on Saturday 24th March. This is probably the latest we've ever planted potatoes, and possibly the coldest wettest conditions too - the ground was so wet that the tractor would only pull the potato planter through it when going downhill, even though the incline is very slight.
Mateo and Mathis on the potato planter, fully loaded and ready to go (downhill!).
This year we decided to only plant first (Casablanca and Colleen) and second (Maris Peer) earlies, plus Charlotte salad potatoes, although we have done a single line of our own saved Sarpo Mira blight-tolerant maincrops. This was to save money on our seed potato bill, and because we don't have a functioning potato lifter, so that all our potatoes have to be dug by hand. We plan to buy local organic maincrop potatoes in bulk later in the season.
26 lines of 5 varieties of potatoes planted, taking 3 people most of one day.
 At the moment we are still digging up three varieties of potato planted this time last year - Valor, Ambo and Sarpo Mira. The longer they are in the ground though the more slug and eel-worm damage they sustain, and the recent heavy frosts have also damaged some.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Veg boxes 23rd March

Tomorrow's veg boxes will include (although we have still to harvest the salad leaves, radishes, and kohl rabis):-
French breakfast radishes
 Small £6 veg box - potatoes, radishes, salad leaves, purple kohl rabi, spring greens, and parsley.

Frisee endives
Standard £10 veg box - potatoes, cauliflower, leeks, spring greens, lettuce, frisee endive radishes, oriental greens, and purple kohl rabi.

Spring greens

Planting broad beans

This year we decided not to overwinter any broad beans due to the problems of rodents and wind which have damaged us over the past few years. So we began by sowing beans in module trays in the polytunnel in January (we have just sown our fourth succession), and those beans were planted out on Tuesday into our first permanent raised bed.
Planting this season's first broad beans.

Our first permanent raised bed full of beans.

So, time to create the second bed!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Our first permanent raised bed outside

In January we split the market garden into two equal halves, each of about one acre, with one half to be worked by tractor and one by hand (this latter to include the polytunnels, fruit cage, perennial beds, and permanent raised beds). The tractor-worked half will be ploughed soon, and the available parts of the other half will be converted to permanent raised beds - we built the first of these on Tuesday.
The bed marked out at one metre wide, covered with a layer of our own rough compost, and one path begun.

Sam, Mateo and Lillie digging out the paths, and piling the soil onto the compost to create a raised bed.

Planting outdoor salad

On Tuesday we planted this season's first bed of outdoor salad, including lettuces, mizuna, rocket, and mustards.
Mateo, Lillie and Sam planting salad plugs through a mulch of municipal compost inside a windbreak.

The first bed of four fully planted, and covered with wondermesh supported by hoops.

Veg boxes, Friday 16th March

£6 veg box = spring greens, leeks, potatoes, jerusalem artichokes, and a frisee endive.
£10 veg box = spring greens, potatoes, leeks, salad, lettuce, parsnips, savoy cabbage, fresh coriander, and oriental greens.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Alejandro and Maggie

Alejandro from Spain, who wwoofed with us for one month, and Maggie from Germany, who spent ten days with us on her second visit to the farm (last time being August 2016), both left last Tuesday for their next wwoof destinations. Many thanks to both of them for their help, especially during the "Beast from the East".
Alejandro feeding chickens during one of the blizzards.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Today's harvesting

We took the decision yesterday morning to postpone our veg boxes by one day, so harvesting on Friday and delivering on Saturday (tomorrow). Our van was stuck at the top of the hill outside the farm, along with about 30 other vehicles, after Wednesday's sudden and heavy blizzard caught us and many other people by surprise. This would have made collecting veg from Cargease Organics in Cockwells very tricky, and our delivery route dangerous/impossible.

Many thanks to the kind delivery driver who towed our van back onto the road at midday yesterday, allowing us to get it back to the farm. We managed to pick up our veg order this morning after a night of thawing and rain.

Carrying a trug full of Chinese leaves back from the polytunnels - these go under the heading of "Oriental greens" in our veg boxes, and are great in a stir-fy, green soup, saag aloo etc...

Maggie picking lettuces in Imogen polytunnel.

Mathis stocking the shop.

Alejandro collecting eggs up at the chicken sheds (they came outside for most of the day, but we shut them in again when a new snoe flurry came down mid-afternoon).

Our shop was open as normal from 11am till 6pm (except for fresh bread from Vivky's, which hasn't made it through to us since Wednesday morning).
Both Pendeen and St. Just markets are cancelled tomorrow morning. We are expecting deliveries of both bread and milk in the morning at the farm, so we'll be fully stocked and open as normal. Chris, our volunteer delivery driver, will be heading out from the farm in the morning to deliver the veg boxes - one day late but hopefully worth waiting for!

Many thanks to Andy, James, Shelley, Mathis, Mateo, Maggie, and Alejandro for helping on the farm over the past few difficult and freezing days.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Today's blizzard

We didn't believe the weather forecast today, not after 4 or 5 years with no snow and hardly even a frost. The ground was frozen too hard this morning to dig out potatoes, so we harvested greens from the polytunnels instead (where our French beans, rocoto chillies, and basil have all been killed by this weeks cold), and the first few snowflakes began to flutter down around 11am.
Market garden - that could be the end of our chard this winter.

Thick snow in the farmyard.

Heading off to feed the chickens mid-morning.

Powder snow billowing into the packing shed.

Shutting the chickens in their sheds, having gathered them in from around the field, and wheelbarrowing fresh water across from the kitchen sink.
Blizzard starting in the farmyard.

Snow billowing into one of the chicken sheds.

Gaspard, Mika and Victor

Gaspard (from Paris, France), Mika (from Hokkaido, Japan), and Victor (from Normandy, France), have all left the community farm this week after their two-week stays volunteering with us. We'd like to thank them all for their hard work, and for their help in keeping things going whilst Andy had a well deserved break.
Gaspard and Mika planting French beans on Saturday (all of which were killed by the frost on Monday).

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Veg box hubs

As well as being able to collect your veg box from the farm itself, or having it delivered to your door for a £1 delivery charge, you can collect from one of our three hubs around Penwith:-
The North Inn in Pendeen - http://www.thenorthinnpendeen.co.uk (we have usually delivered there by 1pm on Fridays);
CafeArt in St Ives - www.facebook.com/cafeart.stives (we have usually delivered there by 2pm on Fridays);
and the Redwing Gallery in Penzance -www.redwinggallery.co.uk (we have usually delivered there by 3pm Fridays).
To order a box from any of these hubs please contact us at the farm on vegbox.bcf@bcents.org or 788454 and we can organise that for you.

Winter

This season the worst winter weather has come in February, bringing hail, sleet, snow, gales, and plenty of rain, but no negative temperatures and no frost.
We haven't felt able to open both doors to our packing shed and shop yet this month.

Hail in drifts across the black plastic mulch on the market garden, where we are killing off weeds prior to creating permanent beds.

Outdoor brassica salads and parsley just about surviving.

We'd not have much to harvest at the moment if it weren't for our polytunnels.

David

We have had another David to wwoof with is, this time from Segovia in Spain. David volunteered with us for 2 weeks before heading off to his next wwoof adventure on the Lizard Peninsula. Muchas gracias a David para ayudanos!
David sowing some of our 3250 onions in the propagation tunnel (Bedfordshire Champions in this instance).