Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Harvest 2013.

After a kinder growing season, more people working on the farm, some rabbit fencing, an extra polytunnel, and general expansion and improvement of the farm's operations, 2013 has been the best harvest to date here at Bosavern Community Farm. Most notable are the best harvests ever had of potatoes (despite the onset of blight in mid-July), onions, beetroot, carrots (with no sign of carrot root-fly - yet), parsnips (we've only just started harvesting them, but the bed is big and looks amazing), runner beans, celery, chard, rocket, physallis, cabbages, kale, squash, tomatoes, aubergines, tomatillos, basil, radishes, spinach, and celeriac (also yet to be harvested). We'd like to thank all the volunteers, both local and through WWOOF, who have helped us to make this possible.
Harvesting potatoes - with David, Ed (from Chagford CSA), Martina, Franziska, Jim and Alice.

Parsnip bed.

Our harvest of onions drying in the barn before storing.

New polytunnel full of 300 tomato plants.


Many thanks to Helen, from Australia, who left this morning after 9 days helping on the farm (our 99th WWOOF volunteer!).
Helen harvesting salad in the "mothership" polytunnel.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

WWOOF statistics.

Our 100th WWOOF volunteer arrived yesterday! Nyssa, from the USA, has come to help on the farm for the next 6 weeks. Which seemed like a good point at which to crunch some numbers, particularly helpful (maybe?) to people or organisations wondering whether to become WWOOF hosts or not, indicating whom they can expect to come......

So, out of the 100 WWOOFers we have hosted to date:-
Nationalities in descending order - British 24, French 18, German 17, American 10, Canadian 5, Australian 5, Italian 4, New Zealanders 3, Chinese 2, Swiss 2, Austrian 1, Dutch 1, Japanese 1, Belgian 1, and Portuguese 1.
Females outnumber males by 67 to 33.
In the same time period (just under 3 years) there have been 3 WWOOFers who have failed to turn up.
Of those 100 WWOOFers, 98 have been good (some of them have been excellent), and there have been only 2 that we wish we'd never taken on.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

This year's tomatoes.

Gardener's Delight - delicious cherry tomatoes.

Moneymaker - productive big slicing tomatoes.

Quadro - for cooking or slicing.

San Marzano - plum tomatoes primarily for cooking.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Thanks also to Chris, who called in to help for 5 days on his cycling and wwoofing tour of the south-west (see photo below).

Martina and Franziska

Our latest German wwoofers departed this weekend, one back to Dresden and one to another part of Penwith - many thanks to them both for their work over the past three weeks on the farm. I'm sure the chickens will miss you too!?
Franziska (left) and Martina (right) harvesting onions with Chris (centre back).

Friday, September 13, 2013

New chickens.

On Friday 6th September we received 100 new point-of-lay chickens, and housed them in the third shed up in the chicken field. We now have 290 laying chickens. They are settling in well, and have started to lay their first few tiny eggs. Every evening at dusk we teach them how to perch, by lifting all those attempting to sleep on the floor up onto their perches. The first evening we had to lift 90 onto their perch, but by last night this had reduced to 23, so they are learning! Give them another week and they'll all be perching, we hope.
Our latest batch of chickens venturing out for the first time..... join the other chickens in their scenic field.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Botallack Country Fair.

On Sunday 1st September we ran a stall selling vegetables and eggs and fruit at Botallack Country Fair, held at the National Trust's old mine Count House. The weather was very kind (so many thanks for the lending of a gazebo by the kind lady on the stall next to ours), and visitors were steady, so by the end of the afternoon we had sold almost £100 of farm produce.
The farm's new bee, created by Jonathan.

Our monster radishes, much commented upon, still delicious!

Lobster pot weaving demonstration and sales.

Vintage steam engine.

Runner ducks being herded past our stall.


And also to Carlotta, from Lisbon, who came for 5 days. In her spare time Carlotta helps at Sutton Community Farm in London - see their website to find out about them, and to find some delicious recipe ideas


Many thanks also go to Eva, also from Germany, who has just finished her two-week stay on the farm as a WWOOF volunteer.

Ena and Birgitte.

Many thanks to Ena and Birgitte (and Flo the dog) who came along for a volunteer session, and stayed three days to help with the potato harvest! Happy travels.

Planting a winter brassica field.

During the first two weeks of August, we broke the ground and planted a two acre field of winter brassicas, being a mix of cabbages and broccoli.
Newly planted brrassica field, with essential rabbit fence.


Our tomatoes are now on sale in the farm shop and at farmer's markets priced at £1.50 for 500g (so £3 per kilo). They are in mixed punnets of gardener's delight (cherry tomatoes), moneymaker (large slicers), san marzano (plum tomatoes for cooking or eating), and quadro (a cross between plum and slicing tomatoes).