Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yule Logs.

A Yule log is a special wooden log burned in the household fire as part of Christmas celebrations. Imagine the whole family gathering around their hearth to warm themselves on Christmas morning as the big Yule log crackled and flamed. To tie in with this tradition Bosavern Community Farm held a special Yule log event on December 18th, the final volunteering session before Christmas.
Cutting our Yule logs.
A large branch from one of our neighbour's pine trees had broken off and fallen into one of our fields, so with their permission we cut suitable logs from the branch, took them into The Hive resource room, decorated them with candles, ribbons, teasel heads, ivy, pine cones and glitter, and everyone had a Yule log to take home with them.
Fitting candles into holes drilled into the logs.
After the Yule logs were finished (and they looked great!) we retired to the farmhouse kitchen for home-made mince-pies and mulled wine, plus special mulled orange-tea, so thanks to everyone who came along and provided drink, nibbles and their company.

Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) Trainees.

The "Real Ideas Organisation" works with young people to make real change happen through social enterprise. Check out their website at for more information. In the Penwith area RIO are training young people in horticulture so as to broaden their horizons and improve their job prospects. We were fortunate to be able to borrow five of the RIO trainees for a day on 15th December, and we knuckled down to some land management tasks in the vegetable field.
Rob and Adam digging dock roots out of the vegetable beds.
Gus clearing around the herb bed behind the polytunnel. 
Stuart and Dylan knocking new posts in for the rabbit fence.
We got a lot done and all learned something, so thanks to RIO and their trainees for a good day all round.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

School Visits.

One of the aims of the Bosavern Community Farm project is to "create opportunities for training and education in land related skills", and one of our objectives is to "arrange courses and training events for schools and community groups". Since October we have been delighted therefore to welcome groups of pupils from St. Just Primary School for two hours every week as part of their curriculum. So far we have been introducing the pupils to the farm - of which their favourite must be the chickens! - and helping them to design their allotment, which we will be creating for them here on-site in the new year.
Primary school pupils designing their allotment.
Allotment design has been under way in The Hive resource room (previously known as the classroom), and the result is an imaginative and vividly coloured model showing vegetable plots, flower plots, sheds, fences, ponds, paths, trees, and even scarecrows. Our next task is to make their model become reality by transferring their vision onto one of our fields, thus creating the "school allotment".

We hope to be able to demonstrate how to grow a variety of crops, from the processes of plot design and construction, to sowing and planting, weeding and fertilising, plant care, and eventually through to harvesting and eating the produce. Our vision is for local school pupils to eat food that they and their fellow pupils have grown from seed.

Farm Gate Sales.

This month, December 2010, we set up our honesty-stall at the farm gate, and began to sell some produce from it. The stall currently consists of my grandfather's old bathroom cabinet (!!) but we are hoping to upgrade in the near future. Despite being in the depths of an icy winter, and not having been able to sow any seeds until the end of September, we are producing salad bags, radishes and winter greens ("raab" broccoli, a Mediterranean favourite - chop the leaves and swollen stems and add to soups and stews, discarding any fibrous bits) from the polytunnel, and fresh free-range eggs from our flock of hens. Everything is produced organically to Soil Association standards.
Starting to sell from the farm gate in the depths of December.
At any one time there is a selection from the above produce in the cabinet for purchase, and the range will increase as we get further into the new year. All proceeds from sales go towards helping the community farm progress towards its goals.

Our salad bags have been in production now since mid-November, and are also available from Yasmin's Deli in the centre of St. Just. They are made up of a crunchy zesty selection of the following - lamb's lettuce (a.k.a. corn-salad), "namenia" turnip-tops, rocket, "greenwave" mustard, "green in snow" oriental mustard, red salad-bowl lettuce, mizuna, red winter kale, giant winter spinach, endive, swiss chard and rainbow chard.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas.

Bosavern Community Farm would like to wish all supporters, friends and volunteers a very happy Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you after the festive season.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chicken sponsorships.

With only two weeks to go to Christmas it's high time to think about presents. This Christmas why not give a gift with a difference? By sponsoring a chicken at Bosavern Community Farm you will be helping to get the farm "clucking"! And all for the poultry sum of £6.... Sorry about the puns.... We are currently fundraising for our second flock of laying hens (plus all the associated fencing, feed, and housing costs), having bought the first 50 in November. Our first few organic free-range fresh eggs are now on sale at the farm gate. Our chickens are a happy bunch, and are a joy to behold as they range around their large grassy run. There are three ways of sponsoring a chicken:-
1) Come along to Pendeen Farmer's Market on Saturday 18th December between 10am and 12, and visit us on our chicken sponsorship stall.
2) Visit our website and download a sponsorship form, fill it out and post it to us with a cheque.
3) Call in to the farmhouse.
All sponsors receive a personalised certificate (ideal Christmas present!), and e-newsletters in the future about the chickens and farm in general.

Friday, December 10, 2010


"World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms" is a charity whose aim is to connect volunteers wanting to work on organic farms with organic farms who are seeking volunteers. See their website at for more information. Bosavern Community Farm signed up as a WWOOF Host in September 2010, and we hosted our first WWOOFers in November.
Julien and Seif digging-in the chicken fence, with Abbi and Adi beyond.
Julien and Seif, two French friends, came to live at the farm for 2 weeks and were invaluable help. Their main task while here was digging-in the bottom of the chicken-fence to make it fox-proof (fingers crossed), as well as many other jobs including helping on our Open Day, and putting the third and final roof on our chicken sheds. They were joined at the beginning by Abbi and Adi, who are involved with the organisation of WWOOF and came to visit the farm.
Enjoying the hard work (this was their first morning!).
Julien and Seif were a pleasure to have living in the farmhouse and working on the farm - thanks for all your hard work! They even visited the local school and helped in a French lesson. We are looking forward to more WWOOFers on the farm come the new year.
Building a new compost bin in the vegetable field.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More open day photos.

Fran helping budding young farmers decorate their broad bean pots.
In the polytunnel.

Out on the vegetable field.

Sowing a broad bean.

Charity Auction thankyous.

The charity auction held on Saturday night to raise funds for the community farm was a great success, although the final figure raised has yet to be confirmed. Many thanks to everybody who helped organise and run the event, including Sandra Meanwell, her glamorous assistant Leggy Peggy, and The Star for letting us use their pub for the evening. Thanks also to everyone who donated items for the auction (see list below), and to everyone who came along on the night and bid for items - you were all great, and the atmosphere was fantastic.

People and businesses who donated items to the auction:-
Tom Henderson Smith
Morwenna Morrison
Nancy Pickard
Melanie Stokes
Izzumi Omori
Janet Treby
Angela Stead
Trevor Ricketts
Paul Lewin
Poppy Treffry
Mary Gribble
Sandie Wills
Simon Cook
Mike Newman
Shelleys Beauty Salon
Sue James
Juliet Eavis
The Cook Book
Land's End Youth Hostel
Holly Whitelaw
Catherine Hunt
Frances Rippon
Cape Cornwall Golf Club
Amanda Pickering
The Plant Place
The Wellyrack Company in Perranuthnoe
Vivian Olds Organic Butchers
The Newlyn Harbour Design Centre
Sukothai Thai Restaurant in Penzance
Polgoon Vineyards
Gabrielle Hawkes
Caroline Binch
Clare Lucas
Sarah Lay
Sam Toft
Rose Hilton
Helen Jay
Lucy Birbeck
Rich Guy
The Co-op
Tony Snelson
Louise Snelson
The Old Stable in St. Just
Red Star Chinese in St. Just
Alice Pynn
Ian Cooke
Maggie O'Brian
Jane Adams
and Sandra Meanwell.

If I have missed anyone out please forgive me, and drop me a note so I can rectify the omission.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Charity Auction.

This coming Saturday 4th December at 8:30pm, we will be holding an auction in The Star pub in St. Just, in aid of Bosavern Community Farm. Money raised will go towards further developing the farm as a community asset and site of local food production. It promises to be a rip-roaring evening, hosted by local comediennes Sandra Meanwell and Peggy Leggy. There will be over 40 fabulous "lots" to bid for, including one night's bed and breakfast at the Land's End Hotel and Restaurant, a meal for two with wine at Land's End Youth Hostel, a surfing lesson, guitar lesson, driving lesson, Spanish lesson, drumming lesson, a cream tea for two in the Cook Book, a round of golf at Cape Cornwall Golf Club, a sauna, reflexology, plenty of superb arts and crafts from local artists, a Christmas cake from Warrens, etc.etc. A full list of lots will be posted in St. Just newsagents window and on our website. Lots will be available for viewing and advance bidding in The Star on Saturday afternoon. Be sure to get their early, bring friends, have a great evening, and help the community farm!