Sunday, January 29, 2012
On Saturday February 25th the brilliant theatre performance of "Oh Mary" will show at St. Just Town Hall. We saw this show last winter and it was superb. "This true story is a swashbuckling tale of transportation, love, escape, tragedy and redemption that spanned the world between Cornwall and Australia". "Oh Mary" is a one-woman show performed by Bec Appletree. Tickets are £6 in advance (ask in Bygones Antiques or call 01736 788088) or £7 on the door. Proceeds from the bar will go to Bosavern Community Farm.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
On the last Saturday of every month there is a table-top sale held in the Centre of Pendeen on Pendeen village main street, raising funds for various charities and local concerns. Bosavern Community Farm always has a stall there thanks to the generosity of our volunteers and supporters, and this coming Saturday 28th January is no exception. The sale runs from 10:30am till 1:30pm.
At last this task is complete! We put the plastic skin on our new polytunnel back on the first of November, and started digging the beds that same day, but because of the amount of couch grass roots in the ground, and all the other jobs that have needed doing, we only finished the beds today. But it's a job well done, and we are very grateful for all the hard work put in by volunteers too numerous to mention - a big thankyou to all. We have dug the whole tunnel twice, redistributed soil to make a level growing surface, lined the beds with reclaimed roof tiles, put stepping stones on the beds to allow access, planted up half the tunnel (green sprouting broccoli, kohl rabi, spring cabbage, and winter lettuce), and applied our own compost to one quarter of it. Now we will install an irrigation system ("soaker hose" made from recycled rubber car tyres), and use the remaining beds to grow leek and cabbage seedlings for transplanting outside in the spring.
|Today's team having completed the task - Bex, Anne, Hugh, Willow and Sonja.
|Ebony and her piglets eating boiled potatoes.
Ebony is the mother of five piglets - Blue, Ginger, Horus, Lowenna and Popo - the whole family of whom now live at Bosavern Community Farm. They are kune-kune pigs, a small hardy breed native to New Zealand and the Polynesian islands. Although popular as pets they serve as useful grazing animals for the farm, helping to keep grass and plant growth down whilst manuring the land as they go, and will in time make good sausages and meat the same as our last pigs (Penny, Sage and Onion). Ebony and the gang came from an organic farm just north of Penzance, and are very friendly. They love eating boiled potatoes, which is very handy because we have a lot of reject potatoes from our vegetable field. They also eat organic "sow and weaner nuts", which cost twice as much to buy as non-organic feeds.
|Ebony eating like a pig.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
On Thursday 12th January the Mayor of St. Just brought his tractor down to the farm and helped us move the chicken sheds onto new pasture. Our chicken field measures 2.26 acres, and is evenly divided into six sections, each being fenced off to create a separate chicken run or paddock. Our plan is to rotate the birds every six months to give them fresh pasture and allow the old pasture time to recover. Whilst our first flock of 40 chickens had been happily living on their run for over one year without it looking degraded, the other two flocks each of 80 chickens had worn their grass down to bare earth and certainly needed moving on. Before moving them we wormed and de-loused them.
Each shed is large enough to house 100 birds under organic conditions, and each run is also measured accordingly. The sheds are mounted on skids, like a sledge, so they can be dragged by tractor without the need for lifting or for wheels. They weigh a ton (or more!) but the tractor just about managed.
We have been lucky this winter, and our 200 chickens have between them kept supplying the farm with at least 5 dozen eggs a day for us to sell at the gate, Pendeen Farmer's Market, and in our weekly veg-boxes.
Having taken down some of the internal fencing to allow the sheds to be dragged between runs, afterwards we had to put it all back together again. This job was only completed today, when small wheelbarrow-size gates were installed in the fences between internal runs, making collecting eggs and cleaning out the sheds a much easier job (even if only one person were to do it). We also put skirts of wire-netting around the bases of each shed to prevent the chickens from excavating under the houses to lay their eggs out of our reach.
Many thanks to Morley, Deb, Sonja, Jenny, Anne and Jim for helping.
|Towing a shed from one pasture to the next.
|Lucky girls leaping out into fresh green grass.
|Re-installing the internal fencing between flocks.
|Spot the difference between old pasture and new.
Monday, January 23, 2012
The time for celebrating the festive season by eating turkey is now past, and our turkeys were slaughtered one month ago now, but we thought we'd celebrate their brief lives with some photos and anecdotes.