Thursday, November 29, 2018

Christmas Hampers

It's that time of year again, when we start taking orders for our popular Christmas Hampers. We are again offering three sizes, priced at £25, £50, and £75 (small, standard, and bumper). They will be harvested fresh (the veg and eggs anyway....) and ready to go on Friday December 21st. Each will contain a selection of seasonal veg and herbs from the farm, plus our own eggs, Vicky's mince pies and Christmas bread, our own honey, plus a selection of local produce ideal for the Christmas period (contents depend on size of hamper). Brussels sprouts guaranteed! We can deliver anywhere in West Penwith for £1, or you can collect from the farm. To order yours please phone 788454, or email info@bosaverncommunityfarm.org.uk. A £10 deposit is payable.
Last year's small hamper (£25).

Last year's medium hamper (£50).

Yuletide Fair

Sunday 25th November saw the annual Yuletide Fair in the sports hall at St. Just Leisure Centre, with 60 stalls, hundreds of visitors, a cafe, Santa's grotto, and school choirs, with all the proceeds going to St. Just, Pendeen and Sennen schools, Pendeen Ark, and Brambles Nursery.
Our stall at the fair.

A view of other stalls in the hall.
Many thanks to everbody who came along to enjoy and support the fair - and to Andy, Emma, and Fran for setting up and running our stall.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Winter Feast

Our next community celebration and open day will be at the farm on Sunday 9th December, from midday till 3pm. For the first hour or so we will have members of Pendeen Silver Band playing carols around the campfire. At 1pm there will be a community feast in the packing shed, to which everyone is invited to bring food to share (and/or make a donation). And to round things up from 2 till 3pm we will welcome back the Blazing Hearts Chorus to entertain us in the farmyard (weather permitting - in the open barn if not). Everybody is welcome, so please come along and bring family and friends.

Moving the chicken sheds

We have two fields fenced for chickens and we plan for them to have two years in each, interspersed with field-scale crops. In May we moved them to the top of the top field, and since then we have ploughed and planted the lower field with squash (all now harvested), leeks, kales, cabbages, beetroot, chard, and carrots (which are small but good).
Leeks and other crops planted and sown into the old chicken field.
On Tuesday last week we went up with our tractor and dragged the sheds twenty metres down their current field onto fresher pasture. We'll move them twice again next year before changing fields again in 2020. Our little Ford tractor will only drag them downhill!
Early morning, and the first shed has moved downhill.

Mid afternoon, all three sheds have moved, and the chickens released.

Late afternoon, all the fences and water butts have been re-erected, and that's the job done for another six months.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Veg boxes 23rd November

Friday's standard veg box
Black Friday = black radishes in every veg box!
We sent out thirty lovely veg boxes on Friday - Crown Prince squash (or similar), black winter radishes, spring greens, salad potatoes, mixed salad leaves, komatsuna (Chinese spinach), leeks, purple-top turnips, rocket, and/or red Russian kale. Please contact us to join our not-for-profit veg box scheme on 788454.

New members sought

We have re-opened our community share offer and are inviting new members to join us - please follow this link for details http://www.bosaverncommunityfarm.org.uk/membership/. New members receive regular updates from the farm, a vote at our AGM (either in person or by proxy), and the opporunity to help our outstanding project acheive further successes. Many thanks for joining us!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Nerida

Nerida, from Australia, left the farm this morning after wwoofing with us for one month, to continue her travels around the UK. We'd like to thank her for her help during her time with us, and wish her well in the future - we hope to see you back at the farm someday too!
Nerida, on the left, with Andy and Lorenz planting winter crops in Nigel polytunnel last month.

Dates for your diary

Wednesday November 21st is the AGM of Bosavern Community Enterprises, at 19:15 in the W.I. Hall in St. Just. You don't have to be a member to come along, though only members can vote (see our website to find out how you can become a member).

Sunday November 25th is the Yuletide Fair in the sport hall of St. Just Leisure Centre, 11:00 till 15:00, where the farm will have a stall alongisde 60 other stalls (plus choirs and a visit from Santa).

Sunday December 9th is our next open day on the farm, from 12:00 till 15:00, with live music and a communal feast. Please see our posters for more details.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Veg boxes 16th November

This is one of today's "small" veg boxes (priced at £6), and contained 200g kale, 200g chard, 500g carrots, 500g beetroot, 1kg potatoes, and 400g leeks.
Today's "standard" veg boxes (£10) also included a cabbage, a swede, extra carrots, extra leeks, and mixed salad leaves.
We deliver anywhere in West Penwith (as far as St. Ives and Penzance) for only £1 extra, with optional extras of eggs, bread and milk.

Morgan

Many congratulations to Morgan, who has been awarded "St. Just Young Citizen of the Year 2018" at the recent Feast Civic Parade. Morgan volunteered once a week on the community for six months this year, just one of many community endeavours that helped her to win the award. Well done Morgan!

Lorenz, Caroline, Rob and Abigail

Another four WWOOF volunteers have reached the ends of their stays with us this week - Lorenz from Germany stayed for 6 weeks, Caroline from France for 8 days, Rob from Cumbria for 8 days, and Abigail from Bermuda also for 8 days. Many thanks for helping us during your stays, and good luck with your next steps.
Caroline and Rob weeding overwintering onions, before laying sheeps fleece as a mulch.

Preparing a raised bed for spring greens, with Lorenz on the right.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Lenka

Lenka, a WWOOF volunteer from Montana, USA, left the farm yesterday morning after helping out for 3 weeks.
Lenka weeding our purple sprouting broccoli in the permanent raised beds (with Lorenz on the left).
It was a joy to have Lenka volunteer with us and we already miss her - many thanks for your hard calm work!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Harvesting squash and pumpkins.

Squash laid out to cure in the polytunnel.
 We've not had a very good year for squash, certainly not compared to 2017. In 2016 we harvested 300kg, which we tried to double in 2017 and ended up with 1200kg! So this year we tried to halve that and have got only 200kg, mostly crown prince (which is the best, so that's something!).
Mostly Crown Prince squash.
 We got off to a bad start with a nutrient-poor batch of potting compost. Because the plants looked so bad we prioritised transplanting leeks instead, so the squash were planted out towards the end of July, a bit too late. It was then so dry that they struggled.
Pumpkins in the shop ready for Hallowe'en.
But we did get some! And they are now all harvested and curing in the polytunnel ready to go on sale. Except for some large (Jack-o-lantern and Sue's Giant) and tiny (Jack-be-little) pumpkins which were in the shop and at farmers' markets before Hallowe'en, and some big ones that have been portioned up and sent out in standard veg boxes for the past two weeks.

Today's veg boxes

Today's small veg box (£6) plus half a dozen eggs (£1.60) = £7.60.
Be a part of the local food revolution here in West Penwith! Join the not-for-profit veg box scheme here at Bosavern Community Farm. In today's veg boxes you could have enjoyed (or have enjoyed?) Charlotte salad potatoes, perpetual spinach, red Russian kale, carrots, purple-top turnips, beetroot, mixed salad leaves, Vietnamese coriander, a pumpkin portion, leeks, cucumbers, and/or oriental stir-fry greens. Plus we can add our own free-range eggs, Vicky's organic bread, and Treen organic milk.

Email vegbox.bcf@bcents.org to find out more, or to order your box for next week.

Coline and Marine

Coline and Marine sowing trays of seeds with Lenka in the propagation station.

Coline and Marine sorting potatoes in the packing shed.
Coline and Marine, from France, also left today, having stayed with us for eight days - special thanks to them for working so well over the last weekend to allow me to have two days off with my family.

John the third

John dismantling the windbreak after harvesting this year's squash.

John picking perpetual spinach for veg boxes.
John came to wwoof with us for the third time, but left this morning to make his way home to Brisbane, Australia. Thanks John for all your help and craziness!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Andy the fourth

Andy planting garlic in the polytunnel.
Andy came and volunteered with us for his fourth time, staying only ten days this time, but we hope he'll be back again before long.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pulling out tomato vines

After harvesting a wonderful amount of gorgeous tomatoes over the summer, we've now begun pulling out the spent vines and replacing them with winter crops. We had three successional sowings of tomatoes, and the first two are already out and in the compost (along with their jute twines) - the third batch still has a few tomatoes to ripen on them.
Friday lunchtime.

Friday dinnertime.

Saturday hometime.
On Sunday and Monday we finished tidying the tunnel, then laid greenwaste compost 3cm thick to create seven beds, which on Tuesday we planted with green sprouting calabrese, komatsuna (Chinese spinach), kohl rabi, coriander, chervil, and headed lettuces - photos to follow.

Storm Callum

Storm Callum hit the farm at the weekend, but with no lasting damage, though we all got wet harvesting veg for market and veg boxes, and it was a little hairy and noisy at times!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

St Just in Bloom 2018

Bosavern Community Farm is proud to have been awarded "Outstanding" by the Royal Horticultural Society and South West in Bloom, as part of the "It's Your Neighbourhood" section of St Just In Bloom - the third consecutive year we have achieved "outstanding".

For the second year running we also supplied a small team of volunteers to help plant the planters on the edge of town.

St Just achieved another excellent Gold Cup in the 2500-5499 population section. The Commercial Hotel won "Best Floral Pub" as well as a Gold Award in the "Business, Tourism and Leisure" section. Eight other projects in St Just also achieved "outstanding" in the It's Your Neighbourhood section, so a great achievement all round - well done to all.
Part of our expanding awards wall in the farm shop.

Veg box raffle prize

We are often asked to provide a veg box as a raffle prize for good local causes, and we are always happy to oblige - this one went to raise money to repair the St Just Anglican Church roof.
This was a standard veg box with a dozen eggs (5th October) and contained aubergines, salad potatoes, pickling onions, a swede, beetroot, kale, perpetual spinach, a courgette, a cucumber, rocket, and salad peppers.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Jane and Alice

Jane (a tattoo artist from Los Angeles) and Alice (from Brittany) came to the ends of their volunteering stays with us on Thursday and Friday just gone. We'd like to thank them for all their help.
Jane removing the first line of spent tomato vines (we planted Chinese leaves and pak choi for winter).

Alice planting overwintering onion sets, along with Sue.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Open day photos

The incredible Blazing Hearts' Chorus singing in the farmyard - many thanks to Vicky the msical director.

Eating lunch around the campfire while the choir performs.

Two local conservation organisations came along to raise awareness - thanks to Gerald the hedgehog for coming out for a snuffle.

A tour of the polytunnels and some of the market garden.

Matt Pitt of the Cornish Black Bee Company showing people the demonstration hives in the Bee Ed Shed.
Many many thanks to everybody who made today such a success - the organisers, tour leaders, bakers, brewers (of hot drinks!), stallholders, shop assistants, cooks, parking wardens, rafflers etc...

Perrine and Malina

We have a continual turn-over of wwoof volunteers, and this week it was the turns of Perrine (from France) and Malina (from Germany) to move on to pastures new. Thanks as always to our wwoofers who, alongside our local volunteers, put so much into the farm.
Malina, in one of the polytunnels picking rocket for veg boxes.

Perrine on the market garden, helping to cover some unused sections for winter.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Open Day this Sunday 12-3pm

Our first open day this year (we've been busy) will be Sunday 30th September from midday till 3pm, as part of the Community Supported Agriculture Network UK's open farms weekend. There will be our pop-up Cowshed Cafe, the farm shop selling a range of local and organic produce, egg collecting, a tour of the farm, visits to the demonstration bee-hives with Matt Pitt of the Cornish Black Bee Company, face painting, craft workshops, wildlife organisation stalls, a fire, and live music (we hope - please bring instruments / voices).

Please come along, and bring friends and family - to support your community farm, sign up for a veg box, find out how you can help as a volunteer - or just to have fun.

Ben and Phil

Ben (a climbing instructor from Leeds and our hay-bale loading legend) and Phil (a postman from Brighton) both spent time volunteering on the community farm recently, and we'd like to thank them for their endeavours whilst wwoofing with us.
Ben cleaning out our egg-packing room.

Phil picking chives in the Mothership polytunnel.

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.